Privacy, Surveillance & Tech: What FISA’s Renewal Means

Richard Searle, with Fortanix, and Cobun Zweifel-Keegan, with the International Association of Privacy Professionals, discuss the recent reauthorization that allows the collection of foreign intelligence within the US.

Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Editor

April 29, 2024

Meant to arm federal authorities with intelligence gleaned from telecom and other sources to catch potential foreign threats that operate domestically, the federal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was reauthorized, but not without debate, down to its deadline for renewal.

There was some contention that without the renewal of FISA, certain internet service providers may have been reluctant to continue to play ball with US intelligence agencies. The act will be up for renewal again in two years, rather than the usual five years, as the topics of privacy, surveillance, and the roles tech companies play in the equation continue to be questioned.

In this episode of DOS Won’t Hunt, Richard Searle, chief AI officer with Fortanix, and Cobun Zweifel-Keegan, managing director of the Washington, DC office of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), discuss FISA's renewal. The conversation includes questions raised for tech companies and privacy professionals, and what the policy landscape looks like as the US government also makes moves -- while touting security and privacy concerns -- on TikTok.

Listen to the full episode here.

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About the Author(s)

Joao-Pierre S. Ruth

Senior Editor

Joao-Pierre S. Ruth covers tech policy, including ethics, privacy, legislation, and risk; fintech; code strategy; and cloud & edge computing for InformationWeek. He has been a journalist for more than 25 years, reporting on business and technology first in New Jersey, then covering the New York tech startup community, and later as a freelancer for such outlets as TheStreet, Investopedia, and Street Fight. Follow him on Twitter: @jpruth.

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