George W. Croner, a retired attorney, director and shareholder of Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C., has written an article on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008 that was recently featured on the website for the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (50 U.S.C. sec. 1881a) is arguably America’s most valuable intelligence collection program, and its renewal by Congress has been designated by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence as the Intelligence Community’s “top legislative priority.” As the December 31, 2017 deadline for its re-authorization by Congress approaches, Croner’s “The Clock is Ticking: Why Congress Needs to Renew America’s Most Important Intelligence Collection Program” thoroughly explores the statutory construct, practical application, and constitutionality of this critical, but hotly debated, foreign intelligence program.
The article was published in a four part series. Part 1 discusses the history of authorities used for foreign intelligence surveillance. Part 2 provides the statutory construct and practical application of Section 702. Part 3 addresses the constitutionality of Section 702 focusing specifically on the Fourth Amendment. Part 4 concludes by examining specific criticisms and issues relevant to the debate on reauthorizing Section 702. Links for the different parts of the series are provided below.
George W. Croner is a 1975 graduate (with distinction) of the U.S. Naval Academy, and a 1980 graduate (with honors) of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He served as principal litigation counsel in the Office of General Counsel at the National Security Agency and is also a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.