Eatinger: Under the Hood of Renewed FISA Law

By Robert J. Eatinger, Jr.

Bob has 35 years of experience practicing law in the fields of national security, intelligence, and international law. He is a solo practitioner at Robert J. Eatinger, Jr., PLLC, practicing federal law with a national security and intelligence law focus and the founding Principal of SpyLaw Consulting, LLC. Bob retired from the Central Intelligence Agency in 2015 where he was the Senior Deputy General Counsel. He served as CIA’s Acting General Counsel from October 2013 to March 2014.  Before being named the Senior Deputy General Counsel, Bob had held senior operational law positions and been chief of CIA’s litigation division.  Bob also served on active duty in the United States Navy, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and retired in 2013 as a Captain with 30 years of combined active and reserve service.  

Robert Eatinger, former senior deputy general counsel at the CIA, says the legislation that Congress just passed extending controversial surveillance authorities, known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, still provides certain protections against misuse. With the U.S. Senate’s passage of the bill, the legislation heads to the White House for President Donald Trump’s signature.

Passing with a vote of 65-34, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017 is intended to arm the U.S. intelligence community with the authorities to monitor foreign intelligence targets’ communications that transit or are stored in U.S.-based communications infrastructure. The authorities came under fire in 2013 after unauthorized disclosures of information suggesting that communications involving Americans were also being swept up in the process.

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