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H.R. 2399 (113th): LIBERT-E Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jun 17, 2013.

Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act or the LIBERT-E Act - Amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) (as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act) to require the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in applications for court orders requiring the production of tangible things (commonly referred to as business records, including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a U.S. person or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, to include a statement of specific and articulable facts showing reasonable grounds to believe that such things are relevant and material to an authorized investigation. (Currently, a general statement of facts must only show that the tangible things are relevant to an authorized investigation.)

Requires that the items sought pertain only to an individual that is the subject of such investigation.

Removes a list of production items currently designated as presumptively relevant.

Requires a judge approving the release of such tangible things to enter orders directing the applicant to notify each person required to produce items of the right to challenge the legality of a production or nondisclosure order as well as the procedures for filing a petition for such a challenge.

Removes a requirement that a judge considering a petition to modify or set aside a nondisclosure order treat as conclusive a certification by the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, an Assistant Attorney General, or the FBI Director that disclosure may endanger national security or interfere with diplomatic relations.

Directs the Attorney General to make available to all Members of Congress information currently provided to House and Senate intelligence and judiciary committees, including the number of persons targeted for FISA orders, the number of times the Attorney General has authorized such information to be used in a criminal proceeding, and copies of applications, pleadings, orders, and decisions in matters before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review.

Requires unclassified summaries of significant decisions, orders, or opinions of such Courts to be made available to the public.

Directs the Inspector General of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and inspectors general of each element of the intelligence community authorized to acquire information pursuant to specified FISA orders to jointly report to Congress on the impact of such acquisitions on the privacy interests of U.S. persons. Requires the DOJ Inspector General to make such report available to the public, with any redactions limited to those necessary to protect properly classified information.

Requires assessments and reviews regarding guidelines for targeting certain persons located outside the United States and minimization procedures to be submitted in unclassified form, with a classified annex permitted.