S. 1621: Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013

Oct 30, 2013
Referred to Committee
2% chance of being enacted
Track this bill
Alan “Al” Franken
Junior Senator from Minnesota
Read Text »
Last Updated
Oct 30, 2013
20 pages
Related Bills
S. 1452 (Related)
Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013

Referred to Committee
Last Action: Aug 01, 2013


This bill was assigned to a congressional committee on October 30, 2013, which will consider it before possibly sending it on to the House or Senate as a whole.

Introduced Oct 30, 2013
Referred to Committee Oct 30, 2013
Reported by Committee ...
Passed Senate ...
Passed House ...
Signed by the President ...

12% chance of getting past committee.
2% chance of being enacted.

Only 11% of bills made it past committee and only about 3% were enacted in 2011–2013. [show factors | methodology]

Full Title

A bill to enhance transparency for certain surveillance programs authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and for other purposes.


No summaries available.

1 cosponsors (1R) (show)

Senate Judiciary

The committee chair determines whether a bill will move past the committee stage.

Primary Source

THOMAS.gov (The Library of Congress)

GovTrack gets most information from THOMAS, which is updated generally one day after events occur. Activity since the last update may not be reflected here. Data comes via the congress project.


Get a bill status widget for your website »


Click a format for a citation suggestion:


S. stands for Senate bill.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the president to become law.

The bill’s title was written by its sponsor.

GovTrack’s Bill Summary

We don’t have a summary available yet.

Library of Congress Summary

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013 - Amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to expand government reporting requirements with respect to surveillance programs under FISA and the USA PATRIOT Act. Permits persons (any individual, including any officer or employee of the federal government, or any group, entity, association, corporation, or foreign power) receiving certain production orders to make public disclosures regarding the categories of orders to which they complied and the total number of users whose information was produced.
Directs the Attorney General to report annually to Congress and to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, in an unclassified form to be made available to the public, regarding orders approving electronic surveillance, pen register and trap and trace devices, the production of tangible things (commonly referred to as business records, including books, records, papers, documents, and other items), and the targeting of persons outside the United States other than U.S. persons.
Sets forth the details to be included in various reports, including:
the total number of applications made for orders and number of such orders granted, modified, or denied; good faith estimates of the total number of individual persons (any individuals, excluding any group, entity, association, corporation, or governmental entity) whose tangible things or electronic or wire communications information were obtained or produced; good faith estimates of the total number of U.S. persons (U.S. citizens or aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence) whose information was obtained and the number of such persons whose information was subsequently reviewed or accessed by a federal officer, employee, or agent; the total number of computer-assisted search queries initiated by the federal government in certain databases under specified orders and the number of such queries whose search terms included information from a U.S. person; and the number of subscribers or customers of an electronic communication service or remote computing service whose tangible records were produced and the number of such persons whose records were subsequently reviewed by the federal government.
Requires certain totals, when the total number is fewer than 500, to be expressed as a numerical range of "fewer than 500" instead of as an individual number.
Directs the Attorney General to submit an annual certification confirming that in the course of the preceding year no orders entered for the production of tangible things were used to obtain the contents of an electronic or wire communication.
Prohibits this Act from being construed to authorize: (1) the collection of any additional information, other than demographic data to comply with reporting requirements; or (2) additional appropriations.
Permits persons and other entities receiving specified production orders to disclose to the public, every six months:
(1) the total number of orders received and the percentage or total number of orders with which they complied;
(2) the total number of individual persons, users, or accounts whose information of any kind was produced to the government or was obtained or collected by the government; and
(3) with respect to specified categories of orders, the total number of individual persons, users, or accounts for whom the contents or records of electronic or wire communications, including certain subscriber records of remote computing services, were produced to the government or were obtained or collected by the government.
Provides immunity from court actions to such persons and entities making voluntary disclosures under this Act.

House Republican Conference Summary

The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

No summary available.

House Democratic Caucus Summary

The House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.

So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference’s summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That’s because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.

We’ll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.

Use the comment space below for discussion of the merits of S. 1621 with other GovTrack users.
Your comments are not read by Congressional staff.

comments powered by Disqus