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Rubio Backs Legislation To Protect Critical Anti-Terror Surveillance Programs

Dec 2, 2015 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, today co-sponsored the Liberty Through Strength Act II introduced by Senator Tom Cotton(R-AR), which would ensure the Obama Administration does not destroy information that has already been legally collected in order to prevent terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland.  The bill also makes permanent key provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). 

“The Paris terrorist attacks are the starkest and most recent reminder of the growing dangers in the world posed by radical Islamic terrorism’s spread and the determination of ISIS to strike the west outside of their safe havens in Iraq and Syria,” said Rubio.  “At a time when we should be strengthening our resolve to fight terrorism on all fronts and protect the homeland, the Obama Administration and many in Congress and on the campaign trail continue to support weakening the tools U.S. law enforcement and the intelligence community use to keep Americans safe. 

“Our intelligence professionals are our first line of defense, and by taking effective tools away from them they are less able to connect the dots needed to prevent foreign operatives from entering our country and also defend against homegrown radicalism that can lead to lone wolf terrorist attacks,” continued Rubio.

“This bill will not fix the misguided and flawed USA Freedom Act that went into effect on December 1, nor will it reverse the dangerous, unilateral disarmament of portions of our intelligence collection apparatus undertaken by President Obama and his administration,” added Rubio. “However, passage of this bill will ensure that key tools used by the intelligence community and law enforcement to defend our cities and towns are permanently reauthorized and that the metadata already collected is not discarded until it no longer has any intelligence value.”

The Liberty Through Strength Act II would do the following:

  • Require the federal government to hold on to the legacy Section 215 metadata for five years and authorize its use for queries to prevent terrorist attacks.
  • Make permanent the USA PATRIOT Act’s “roving wiretap” provisions.
  • Make permanent the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act’s (IRTPA) “lone wolf” provisions, which treat these types of terrorists the same as agents of a foreign power.  
  • Make Title VII of The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) permanent, preserving crucial tools the U.S. and our allies use to thwart terrorist attacks.
  • Clarify the FBI’s authority to obtain electronic communications transactional records (ECTR) under Title 18 of the U.S. Criminal Code.