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Senate must pass FISA Section 702 to protect Americans

For Americans, September 11, 2001 will forever be etched into our memories. The world watched as an always resolute n...

Posted: Jan 18, 2018 3:03 PM
Updated: Jan 18, 2018 3:03 PM

For Americans, September 11, 2001 will forever be etched into our memories. The world watched as an always resolute nation fell victim to a horrific act of terror on its own soil. Our enemies celebrated in a seemingly impervious nation being brought to its knees, if only for a moment.

More than 15 years later, America remains a beacon of hope in an increasingly dangerous world -- due, in large part, to those who combat terror, often away from the public eye and with little recognition. Congress is tasked with providing important tools the intelligence community needs to fight our enemies, which includes Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. This law allows us to conduct surveillance on foreign agents and terrorists who are outside the United States so we can efficiently and effectively acquire critical information and stop the next attack before it happens.

The House of Representatives already acted earlier this month to reauthorize the law, and it's critical the Senate follow suit before the program expires Friday. This program is vital to our national security; without this tool, we are asking our intelligence community to do its job with one hand tied behind its back. However, some have spread misinformation about what this law does or does not do.

Critics have claimed this law will trample on Fourth Amendment protections for Americans here at home. Because the law requires that targets of Section 702 must be foreign citizens outside the US, those targets are not covered by the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution. Courts have found the law to be constitutional.

Furthermore, there are multiple safeguards built into the statute that prohibit the US government from intentionally targeting Americans. And there are also "minimization" procedures in place to protect the privacy of US citizens. Congressional committees such as the Intelligence Committee and the Judiciary Committee -- both of which I serve on -- conduct rigorous oversight of the program, as does the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Whether it's combating terrorism, detecting and countering cyber-attacks, or protecting troops overseas from foreign threats, this legislation reauthorizes one of the crown jewels of foreign intelligence. And far from ignoring Americans' privacy concerns, the protections enshrined in the law embrace and defend them.

The stakes are high and the clock is ticking. The Senate will have a chance to act this week so the US government can continue to collect critical national security information to protect the American people. Handcuffing our intelligence community by letting the program lapse even one day could stop us from utilizing vital information to prevent terrorist attacks.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 98190

Reported Deaths: 2969
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7189161
DeSoto569464
Harrison394175
Jackson358570
Rankin337280
Madison334190
Lee293572
Forrest254275
Jones252780
Washington227879
Lafayette221240
Lauderdale2078126
Bolivar187370
Oktibbeha181952
Lamar176237
Lowndes160858
Neshoba1599104
Panola151631
Sunflower149146
Leflore143882
Warren141850
Pontotoc130116
Monroe125369
Pike124954
Copiah119933
Scott118027
Coahoma117530
Lincoln112353
Marshall111821
Grenada110136
Holmes110060
Yazoo106733
Simpson105847
Tate101938
Union101224
Leake96538
Adams94937
Wayne91521
Pearl River91453
Prentiss88418
Marion87537
Itawamba85921
Alcorn83411
Covington83223
George78513
Tallahatchie78324
Newton78124
Winston74619
Tishomingo71039
Tippah70518
Chickasaw69524
Attala67225
Clarke61149
Walthall60426
Clay59919
Hancock59822
Jasper58415
Noxubee55816
Smith55115
Calhoun52912
Tunica50015
Montgomery47020
Claiborne46516
Yalobusha44414
Lawrence43914
Perry43221
Quitman3905
Greene38917
Stone38013
Humphreys37715
Jefferson Davis34711
Amite34210
Webster33913
Carroll33112
Wilkinson30818
Kemper29115
Sharkey26714
Jefferson2439
Benton2333
Franklin1993
Choctaw1876
Issaquena1063
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 137564

Reported Deaths: 2399
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson20221352
Mobile13558295
Tuscaloosa9029118
Montgomery8894187
Madison800580
Shelby616450
Lee601761
Baldwin564052
Marshall398345
Etowah357545
Calhoun356944
Morgan334929
Houston295421
Elmore273948
DeKalb246121
St. Clair237937
Walker236987
Talladega219030
Limestone215720
Cullman192220
Dallas179926
Franklin179430
Autauga179127
Russell17903
Lauderdale175934
Colbert168426
Blount162915
Escambia162024
Jackson161112
Chilton160930
Dale141844
Covington141628
Coffee13936
Pike122011
Chambers117942
Tallapoosa117385
Clarke110916
Marion97629
Butler91740
Barbour8967
Winston75112
Marengo72820
Pickens67215
Randolph67213
Bibb66411
Lowndes65927
Hale65328
Geneva6505
Lawrence63625
Cherokee62013
Bullock61015
Clay5929
Monroe5928
Washington56012
Crenshaw54532
Perry5436
Conecuh53811
Wilcox53211
Henry5145
Macon48318
Fayette47311
Sumter43419
Cleburne4085
Lamar3822
Choctaw35212
Greene30615
Coosa1743
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