The House Freedom Caucus is gearing up for another political fight. This time, they are working to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. This is the secret court system that authorized ubiquitous federal surveillance on all Americans.
“Government surveillance activities under the FISA Amendments Act have violated Americans’ constitutionally protected rights,” the Freedom Caucus said in a press release. “We oppose any reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act that does not include substantial reforms to the government’s collection and use of Americans’ data.”
Although the Freedom Caucus has not been specific as to what reforms they will ultimately push for, watchdog groups have outlined what needs to be changed in order to restore proper justice to the courts.
“The FISA Court must change in at least two ways: it needs a true advocate for privacy and civil liberties in the court and it must have institutionalized, systematic publication of significant opinions,” Dia Kayyali wrote in an Electronic Frontier Foundation article.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), a close associate to the Freedom Caucus, has worked for several years to pass an amendment to Section 702 of the FISA Act that would ban unwarranted searches of government databases for the purposes of profiling American citizens. He has been unable to pass it in previous legislative sessions, but feels the tides are quickly changing.
“I have had Republicans, who are now in the news explaining how this program has been abused, I have had them tell me that there was no way this program could be abused, and it can’t be abused, and I am off my rocker for saying these things,” Massie said in an exclusive interview with Breitbart.
Although the Freedom Caucus was rebuked earlier this year by President Trump and House GOP leadership on health care, this is an issue where they will likely find more popular support within their party. With Trump blaming Obama for wiretapping and talk of the “Deep State” becoming mainstream, the Freedom Caucus may be able to seize victory in this battle.