Kucinich Warns on New FISA Section 702 Threat



CLEVELAND, April 16 (Tues.)  Former Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, who in 2001, led the effort against the passage of the Patriot Act, and who relentlessly worked to repeal its provisions, called the House revisions to the reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), "an open door to a police state in America, tech companies will be forced to do the government's bidding, to spy on their customers." 

The House tabled a motion to reconsider the bill last night, so it moves to the U.S. Senate.

"It not only permits the government to spy on US citizens, it establishes a new infrastructure requiring Americans to spy on their fellow countrymen and women," Kucinich said.  "The government is not just revising FISA, it's revising the Constitution and striking the Fourth Amendment and the protections provided Americans from the government." 

Elizabeth Goitein, Co-Director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, yesterday pointed out on X (formerly known as Twitter) that the bill in its present form provides that "any company or individual that provides ANY service whatsoever may be forced to assist in NSA [National Security Agency] surveillance, as long as they have access to equipment on which communications are transmitted or stored --such as routers, servers, cell towers etc.,"sweeping in U.S. businesses that provide wifi to their customers."  

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, who is leading opposition to the bill in the Senate this week appraised the House bill as "on of the most dramatic and terrifying expansion of government surveillance authority in history.....It allows the government to force any American who installs, maintains, or repairs anything that transmits or stores communications to spy on the government's behalf." 

Kucinich is running to return to Congress, as an independent.  He has pointed out that had he been in Congress, the Biggs Amendment to Section 702,which was defeated in a tie vote this past Friday, would have passed, requiring the government to obtain a court-approved warrant before spying on any American. 

Kucinich's opponent in the race for Ohio's 7th District, incumbent Max Miller, has cast a total of five votes which advanced the FISA legislation: (1) the NDAA Reauthorization; (2) The $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill; (3) His vote against the Biggs Amendment; (4) The vote Friday for passage of the reauthorization of Section 702 and (5) His vote yesterday to table the motion to reconsider by Congresswoman Luna.