The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was signed by President Jimmy Carter 45 years ago to regulate national security surveillance and prevent abuses.

FISA, particularly Section 702, is set to expire at the end of the year and has been criticized for becoming a "domestic spying tool."

Section 702, enacted in 2008, allows the U.S. government to collect and store communications of foreigners abroad without a warrant, incidentally collecting the data of U.S. citizens.

In 2021, there were at least 3.4 million instances of accessing this stored data, and in 2022, the FBI conducted over 200,000 searches, including over 8,000 that violated regulations, without a warrant.

Critics argue that government agents should be required to obtain a warrant before accessing Americans' private messages, while supporters claim it's necessary for national security.

Section 702 is a post-9/11 development, and critics highlight three key issues: abuses, targets (including racialized groups), and lack of transparency.

Similar to historical abuses like COINTELPRO, Section 702 has been used to target Black Lives Matter protesters, campaign donors, and relatives of FBI analysts without justification.

The program may also disproportionately target racialized groups, such as Muslims, Asian Americans, and Black dissidents.

 Lack of transparency and oversight make it difficult to fully understand the impact and costs of Section 702 on American citizens and residents.

Civil liberties groups and advocates are calling for substantive reforms or allowing Section 702 to lapse altogether to protect constitutional rights and prevent abuses of mass surveillance tools.