Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) grilled Federal Bureau of Investigation director Christopher Wray during a congressional hearing on Wednesday, warning him that reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) could be “difficult” if the FBI doesn’t quickly put stricter limits on how it collects Americans’ data.
Jayapal questioned Wray about the FBI’s practices for collecting Americans’ emails, text messages, photos, and other data as part of its various foreign intelligence surveillance programs. She pressed him to explain why the FBI did not have a minimum threshold for the amount of data it collected on Americans who may have had minimal contact with targeted foreign entities.
Wray defended the bureau’s practices, saying that agents were careful to ensure that the data they collected had some value to the investigation they were conducting. He added that agents often did not collect all the data they had access to, but nonetheless still had a “robust set of protocols” in place for ensuring that the data was used properly.
Despite Wray’s assurances Jayapal remained concerned, warning that lawmakers would prove to be difficult when it comes time to reauthorize FISA if there is not more oversight of how the FBI collects data on American citizens.