tv FISA Reform Press Conference CSPAN January 16, 2018 4:12pm-4:30pm EST
>> the constitution is madison's monument and the constitution is all around you when you come to washington. the whole structure of government, the way the government interacts, the way people each other and exercise their free speech. all of that is madison's monument so sort of as with the case in st. paul where christopher wren's monument says if you seek is monument, look around you if you seek madison's monument in washington, look around you. >> you and a sunday at eight eastern on c-span. the c-span bus continues its 50 capital to her this month with stops in raleigh, columbia, atlanta and montgomery. on each visit we will speak with state officials during our journal program. follow thetour and join us wednesday at 9:30 eastern for our stop in raleigh north carolina. our guest is north carolina attorney general josh stein .
>> c-span where history unfolds daily. c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> here on c-span2, the senate dabbling in in 15 minutes to continue work on reauthorizing the house approved message on the fisa surveillance program and able to advance the plan for 5:30 eastern, 60 votes needed to limit debate on that. the house and senate will be working on funding the federal government past the deadline for midnight friday and possibly using another short-term resolution to do so. the senate dabbling at 4:30 eastern or more work on the fisa foreign surveillance bill. a bipartisan group of senators held a press conference about the measure.
>> thank you for coming. what we have assembled today is a diverse group of senators from both sides of the aisle who are organizing together to filibuster the fisa bill. we are here to filibuster the bill because we think there need to be more protections for americans. fisa is about spying on foreigners in foreign lands. most of us agree the program has value and is useful but we should not use information collected without constitutional protection on americans. so at the very least there ought to be a warrant to search americans in the database. the database is enormous. we take millions of americans caught up in this database. history has not been forthcoming about how many americans are in the database through purely domestic information in the database
and how often they are looking at it so we would like to see more protections for the americans and we would like to see that the constitutionis adhered to as it was intended. with that i'd like to introduce senator wyden . >> that you senator, great to be here with chairman leahy. what unites our bipartisan coalition is that we strongly oppose an end run on our constitution. we stand united in terms of fighting terrorists on foreign soil. that is not what is at issue. the fact however is 702, this law that we are debating , is a whole lot broader than fighting terrorists. allows warrantless government surveillance of foreigners thought to have foreign intelligence information. that's practically anything that relates to the foreign
affairs of the united states. practically everything about foreign countries relates to american foreign affairs. so let me give you an example of the kind of americans who can get swept up. law-abiding americans in the 702 searches. americans who talk to foreigners, for example overseas, like a midwestern steel company executive or a businessperson talking to their foreign contacts or a second or third generation american immigrants talking to family and friendsoverseas . somebody asking and overseas friend advice. advice on business or even a vacation. how about us service members talking to foreign friends
they made while deployed? american teachers and researchers seeking information from foreigners. and the government can conduct warrantless searches for your private communications. the bill that the house passed is extreme and in some particulars it actually goes backwards and we are united especially in saying that a bill of this importance ought to be open to a real senate debate. not a blast through the senate on the most extreme procedure possible. no amendments, no discussion. our way or the highway. i'm grateful to be with our colleagues, chairman leahy,
senatorwarren . senator daines, if it's acceptable, senator warren, would you like to go first? >> fine, good. i'd be glad to. i have plenty i want to say. that is the united states should not be in the business of warrantless searches of dragged out surveillance of american citizens. i am here today to join my colleagues, republicans and democrats, because we need reforms to our intelligence programs to achieve two goals. first, better protections for americans privacy and second, more accountability and transparency. i am deeply troubled by the trump administrations reckless disregard for the rule of law and repeated attempts to throw out our constitution but i want to be clear about this issue. opposing warrantless mass surveillance is not a
partisan issue. it is not just about which party controls congress or which party controls the white house. that's why i am glad to be here today with people from both sides of the aisle. the section 702 program was passed because our intelligence community needed new, 21st-century tools to obtain critical information about foreign threats to our national security . but far too often and for far too long, these programs have been turned into a backdoor to monitor the emails and the phone calls of american citizens who are not national security threats. that's why congress must step up and put guardrails in place to ensure that section
702 is used for its intended purpose. to keep us safe from foreign threats. i joined the other senators here today in supporting senator wyden's usa rights act to establish new privacy protections that make sure that our intelligence gathering isfocused on achieving our national security goals without destroying our privacy rights . until we take real, meaningful steps to protect the constitutional rights and privacy's and add more accountability to the intelligence system, the senate should reject reauthorization of section 702. i am pleased to introduce senator daines. >> thank you senator warren. as americans we are grateful we are born with certain rights outlined in our constitution under the bill of rights.
one of them is protection from unreasonable searches and seizures for the right to privacy. i think if we were able to speak with james madison or thomas jefferson today and roll out the terms email, metadata, a cell phone, they have no idea what we are talking about. trying to think through the provincials of our constitution, if we told them that meant our government could take information from us citizensor perhaps a letter without a warrant , framed this in a way i think madison and jefferson would have significant concerns over what's going on right now with section 702. this week the senate will attempt to pass a bill that misses the mark on protecting thisfundamental constitutional right . in response to attacks on american citizens and the values our nation stands for, the government has changed the way it tracks down terrorists .
fisa is one of those changes which allows the government to monitor certain conversations on the internet and on the phone without a warrant. again, our founding fathers had no idea what the internet meant . and it's responsible senators that need to look at the constitution and ensure that these rights are protected. congress intended this program to target foreign terrorists some specs living on foreign land. it was intended to promote american safety, americans freedom but not to limit it. along with collecting useful information about those targets, this program has gathered information on innocent americans and therefore is right for potential abuse. the 702 program is an
important tool to prevent future terrorist attacks. all of us here believe it but we need strong oversight to prevent it from being misused. usi rights act makes those necessary reforms and makes strides toward protecting america's privacy. we must do our due diligence in debating this program to make sure it does not stop on the fourth amendment rights of american people. >> agree so much with what my colleagues have said and i have a lot of conversations over the weekend with editor mike lee of utah who was going to be here but his flight has been delayed because of weather. in my state of vermont, all vermonters, whatever party they belong to believe we should be protected against attacks by foreign governments, whether they are manipulating our way of life
or attacking us economically, physically or however. but there is one thing that would unite every single vermonter and that's a sense of privacy . that we have rights as americans to be secure from our own government and to stop our own government from being able to spy on us. 702 as it'swritten allows our government to spy on us . i was recently in italy visiting my relatives in northern italy. i wondered how many of my phone calls back and forth were beingswept up because i was calling numbers in europe . i would like to think they were extraordinary, in vermont they wouldn't be. but now it turns out they might be. we should have a chance, this
is such an important issue. it affects every single person. we have senators who go across the political spectrum, literally saying wait a minute. protect foreign intelligence but protect american privacy. that's what we want to do. we can do it if we are allowed to vote on amendments. this iscritical. every single american, i don't care what political party , they are affected by it. they expect the united states senate which should be the conscience of the nation to at least vote up or down on amendments. the bill is a fig leaf of reform. we have to find a way to make sure that americans are protected.let's have a boat
. what are people afraid of. we are a democracy, not a dictatorship. let's vote. let's protect americans. right now, this bill, it's as much of a threat for our privacy as anything i've seen in a year. i've been in this committee room when we talk about americans privacy . as a young law student we found out where even parts of our government had overreached in destroying people's privacy. but we've always said whether it's j edgar hoover or anybody else we have a right to our privacy as americans. we fought a revolution for that. we've upheld a constitution for that. let's not vote down a significant part of our own constitution.
>> there's two reasons we are filibustering this. we think the forms are not being able to vote on our reforms. senator wyden and i have a bill, senator lee has a bill and they overlap between the two bills but we insist there be at least debate which means votes on whether this should be more adequate reform. a big thing is if you are going to look at americans information, you ought to get a warrant from a judge. yes. announce whoyou are and what network, please . >> are you confident that if the bill is passed out of the senate today that the national security agency will commit to ending collections
or you do you think legislation is needed? >> if the bill passes, the one they are putting forward. i'd like to hear from some of the others on this but our belief is that the bill codifies away where they can restart collection and that there is more danger with this bill about collections starting again then there is with the current law and it senator wyden? >> replay, the history was going back for years we battled to put guardrails on collection. finally, the government acknowledged they had gone so far, they had to move administratively to get rid of collection. it's clear now there is a new drumbeat to try to get back in the business of collection and for those without getting into the density of all this about collection, it's what it sounds like. they basically just mentioned in a communication, then in effect you set in motion all of the expedited processes
that chairman leahy spoke about so eloquently get their data without the right. >>. [inaudible] >> if a cloture vote fails, those who support their bill would have to come to those of us who support reform and we would work out a compromise. i don't think anybody standing up here want to expire. there would be a compromise, senator leahy? >> i agree with what senator paul said. we would end up losing the ability to go after foreign threats. we do havethe protection of americans .this should be win-win. >> for more minutes left here in this discussion, you can find it online