A law used by U.S. intelligence agencies to monitor the communications of American citizens should not be reauthorized without reform and additional oversight, Utah Sen. Mike Lee said at a hearing Tuesday.

“We’ve got an opportunity this year to make necessary reforms and we must do it,” Lee said at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, after accusing the FBI of showing a “shocking disregard for Americans’ constitutional rights and civil liberties.”

Intelligence officials at the hearing spoke in favor of the reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — FISA — which will expire at the end of this year unless it is reapproved.

Section 702 requires U.S. communications companies to provide the intelligence community with information it gathers about foreign targets, but has also been used to gather information on American citizens.

Lee listed recent examples of the FBI monitoring American citizens using information gathered under Section 702 — including 19,000 donors to an unnamed congressional campaign, Black Lives Matter protesters, participants at the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots, and a member of Congress.

The information Lee referenced was released publicly last month through an unsealed court document showing the FBI used Section 702 to spy on Americans over 278,000 times in 2020 and 2021.

“Hundreds of thousands of searches of Americans’ private communications and information are conducted each and every year without a probable cause warrant — frankly, without any warrant if conducted under Section 702,” Lee said at the hearing. “Now let me be very clear, that number should not just be going down, that number should be zero.”

He then asked the intelligence officials at the hearing why lawmakers should “ever trust the FBI and the (Department of Justice) again to police themselves under FISA, when they’ve shown us repeatedly for more than a decade, that they cannot be trusted?”

Paul Abbate, a deputy director at the FBI, said the agency would continue to implement reforms in the wake of information released about the misuse of Section 702 and also the release of the Durham report, which showed how the FBI used false information to justify spying on former President Donald Trump’s campaign under an operation dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane.”

Abbate said, “with regard to Crossfire Hurricane, what happened there was wholly unacceptable,” and said the FBI agreed with the findings in the Durham report.

“We’ve implemented very strong corrective actions to the poor decision making, the grave errors of judgment, the misconduct, the lack of rigor, investigatively that occurred there, totally unacceptable,” he said. “We reject it.”

In submitted testimony, the intelligence officials said Section 702 “has proven indispensable to U.S. national security. Every day it helps protect Americans from a host of new and emerging threats — such as terrorist plots, weapons of mass destruction, malicious cyber activity, and hostile state behavior from China and Russia.”

But they face opposition not just from Republicans like Lee, Democratic senators at the hearing also expressed concern.

“There is no doubt that Section 702 is a valuable tool for collecting foreign intelligence. But — as I have said for years — Section 702 also raises serious constitutional concerns,” said Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., in his opening statement.

“It was my view when this program was first authorized by Congress in 2008 — and it is my view now — that Section 702 does not sufficiently protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans,” he said. “That’s why I joined with Sen. Lee, in a bipartisan 2012 effort, to offer an amendment to require a warrant for any backdoor search of an American’s communications.”

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Rep. Chris Stewart: Congress won’t reauthorize surveillance powers without ‘meaningful reform’

The intelligence community also faces a battle in the House over the reauthorization of FISA. Last month, Republican Rep. Chris Stewart, who represents Utah’s 2nd District, told the Deseret News that the House would not reapprove the law without “meaningful reform.”

Correction: A previous version of this story said FISA had to be reauthorized at the end of the year, but only Title VII of the law, including Section 702, is set to sunset.