Opinion: The FISA Section 702 Debate Intensifies

With Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) set to expire on Dec. 31, 2023, this is a critical year for the foreign intelligence collection program. In his latest for Lawfare, CERL Advisory Council member George Croner explores how the balance between national security imperatives and protecting the privacy and civil liberties of U.S. citizens will define the reauthorization debate.

As the Section 702 reauthorization debate continues to unfold, this concern for privacy rights and civil liberties must be complemented by the recognition that Section 702 should not be permitted to lapse: The foreign intelligence value of the program is simply indispensable and irreplaceable.

George Croner is a member of the CERL Advisory Council. He is a Senior Fellow in the Program on National Security at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, is a 1975 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy (with distinction) and a 1980 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School (with honors). From 1984 through 1988, while holding the highest security clearance authorized by the U.S. government (TS/SCI), Mr. Croner served in the Operations Division of the Office of General Counsel at the National Security Agency (NSA) which had legal oversight responsibility for NSA’s signals intelligence (SIGINT) operations, including compliance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Read his full bio here.

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Opinion: The FISA Section 702 Debate Intensifies