[Congressional Record: October 20, 2009 (Extensions)]
[Page E2575]



                         HON. JOHN CONYERS, JR.

                              of michigan

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, October 20, 2009

  Mr. CONYERS. Madam Speaker, the FISA Amendments Act of 2009 would 
amend FISA to protect the constitutional rights of Americans while 
ensuring that the government has the powers it needs to fight terrorism 
and collect intelligence.

                         Section 1--Short Title

       This Act may be cited as the FISA Amendments Act of 2009.

                 Section 2--Telecommunications Immunity

       The bill would repeal the retroactive immunity provision in 
     the FISA Amendments Act, leaving it to the courts to 
     determine whether any telephone companies that complied with 
     the illegal warrantless wiretapping program acted properly 
     under the laws in effect at the time and therefore deserve 
     immunity. It would retain limitations on liability for acting 
     in compliance with FISA, the criminal surveillance laws, the 
     Protect America Act and the FISA Amendments Act.

                       Section 3--Bulk Collection

       The bill retains the new authorities provided in the FISA 
     Amendments Act but builds in additional safeguards to protect 
     the rights of innocent Americans. The bill would prevent the 
     government from using the warrantless collection authorities 
     of the FISA Amendments Act to conduct ``bulk collection,'' 
     which could include the collection of the contents of all 
     communications between the United States and the rest of the 
     world. It would do so by requiring that the government have 
     some foreign intelligence interest in the overseas party to 
     the communications it is collecting. Bulk collection raises 
     serious constitutional questions, and it could permit data 
     mining of massive quantities of communications of Americans.

                      Section 4--Reverse Targeting

       The bill would place additional limits on the warrantless 
     collection authorities of the FISA Amendments Act to ensure 
     that they are not used as a pretext when the government's 
     real goal is to target the Americans with whom the ostensible 
     foreign target is communicating. It would require a FISA 
     Court order if the government is wiretapping a person 
     overseas but ``a significant purpose'' of the surveillance is 
     to collect the communications of the person in the United 
     States with whom the person overseas is communicating.

           Section 5--Use of Unlawfully Obtained Information

       The bill would limit the government's use of information 
     about U.S. persons that is obtained under FISA Amendments Act 
     procedures that the FISA Court later determines to be 
     unlawful, while still giving the FISA Court flexibility to 
     allow such information to be used in appropriate cases. This 
     provides a basic incentive for the government to target 
     foreign agents overseas rather than innocent Americans here 
     in the United States. It is similar to the existing law that 
     limits the use of information collected pursuant to FISA's 
     emergency authority if the FISA Court determines after the 
     fact that the FISA standard was not met.

  Section 6--Protections for International Communications of Americans

       The bill would permit unfettered acquisition of foreign-to-
     foreign communications and of communications of suspected 
     terrorists into or out of the United States, while creating 
     safeguards for communications not related to terrorism that 
     the government knows have one end in the United States. 
       When the government knows in advance that a foreign target 
     is communicating with someone in the United States, it can 
     acquire that communication if it involves terrorism, if 
     someone's safety is at stake, or with a court order.
       When the government does not know in advance with whom a 
     foreign target is communicating, it can acquire all of that 
     target's communications, without individualized court review. 
     If the government later realizes that it has acquired a 
     communication with one end in the U.S., it must segregate 
     that communication in a separate database. It can then 
     access, analyze and disseminate that communication if the 
     communication involves terrorism, if someone's safety is at 
     stake, or if the government has obtained a court order.