This week, I supported reauthorizing national security measures, called FISA, that are critical tools in protecting the safety and security of New Yorkers. The reauthorization passed in a bipartisan fashion and the vote was not reflective of typical ideological divisions between the parties in the House.
We have made significant improvements since 9/11 in reducing the ‘siloing’ of information among intelligence agencies to prevent large-scale terrorist attacks.
These measures address previous concerns and strike the right balance between preserving Fourth Amendment protections and combating the national security threats we face on a daily basis. If a U.S. citizen were engaged in criminal activity unrelated to the FISA investigation, and their email address or cell phone number were discovered during such investigation, law enforcement would be required to obtain a warrant from a court before such new matter could be investigated.
Failure to extend the FISA Act would put our nation at risk, impacting our ability to investigate terrorist threats – even those which might be an immediate threat. In addition, FISA intelligence is frequently utilized to protect U.S. military forces and diplomatic missions from hostile action by terrorist networks. We cannot let our nation go unprotected against hostile terrorist entities. We must keep this authority, and I was proud to support this legislation today.