A group of tech trade groups asked for protections when Congress takes up surveillance legislation this year.
Why now: Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — which justifies the surveillance of foreign nationals who are outside the country — expires at the end of the year. Surveillance hawks could use Congress' review of the provision to try and make it permanent, privacy groups worry.
The key line:
"We urge your committees to ensure that any reauthorization includes meaningful safeguards for internet users' privacy and civil liberties, measures to ensure transparency and accountability, and a commitment to continued Congressional oversight."
Who signed: The letter to lawmakers at the helm of the House and Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees was signed by six trade groups that represent both internet companies like Google and Facebook and longtime players like Intel and IBM.