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Cole Statement on the Passage of S.139, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act

January 11, 2018
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House passed S. 139, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act. This legislation reauthorizes and reforms Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) until December 31, 2023. It allows foreign intelligence surveillance activities to target non-U.S. persons who are not located in the United States to identify terrorists and other persons of interests. It has been an effective and critical tool in protecting the United States’ national security.
“I am extremely pleased that the legislation extending section 702 authority, which is critical to our national security, has been adopted by the House and passed, with my support,” said Cole. “S. 139 allows the federal government to track foreign terrorists on foreign soil. These surveillance activities are crucial to protecting American citizens and our troops stationed abroad.
“I am also satisfied that there are sufficient measures included in the legislation to protect the privacy of American citizens. We have not seen any abuse of section 702 authority by intelligence agencies and law enforcement in the past, and I am confident that they will continue to perform with the highest professional standards in the future.
“The debate over the section 702 authority has been good and healthy. I believe Congress has struck the right balance between protecting civil liberties and protecting our nation’s safety and security in this year’s FISA reauthorization.”