Release of 2021 FISA Section 702 FISC Order

Release of 2021 FISA Section 702 FISC Order

July 21, 2023

Consistent with the Principles of Intelligence Transparency for the Intelligence Community, ODNI, in consultation with DOJ, is also today making publicly available, with redactions, a 2021 FISC Order that examined certain FBI compliance errors involving the querying of U.S. person information. The errors discussed in the 2021 FISC Order preceded the FBI remedial reforms discussed in the 2023 FISC Opinion, which were initially deployed during the summer of 2021, and the 2021 FISC Order thus does not reflect the current status of FBI compliance. Moreover, the compliance issues discussed in the 2021 FISC Order are some of the same compliance issues discussed in the FISC’s April 2022 Section 702 Opinion, which the ODNI released on May 19, 2023. See 2022 Mem. Op. at 26–28. Nonetheless, the Government has chosen to make the 2021 FISC Order publicly available to provide the public with additional information about Section 702.

Additional Information

The documents are posted in full-text searchable format on

2021 FISA Section 702 FISC Order


Background on Section 702

Section 702 was enacted as part of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA) and most recently reauthorized by the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017. Section 702 permits the Attorney General and the DNI to jointly authorize, through certifications, the targeting of (i) non-U.S. persons (ii) who are reasonably believed to be located outside the United States (iii) to acquire foreign intelligence information. These certifications are accompanied by targeting procedures, minimization procedures, and querying procedures that are each designed to ensure that the Government’s collection is appropriately targeted against non-United States persons located overseas who may possess or are likely to communicate foreign intelligence information and that any such collection is appropriately handled in a manner that protects privacy and civil liberties.

Under Section 702, the FISC reviews the certifications and accompanying documents to ensure that they meet all the requirements of Section 702 and are consistent with the Fourth Amendment. The Court’s review is not limited to the procedures as written, but also includes an examination of how the procedures have been and will be implemented. Accordingly, as part of its review, the FISC considers the compliance incidents reported to it by the Government through notices and reports.

Additional Information about FISA Section 702 and how the Intelligence Community uses its surveillance authorities may be found in the FISA Resource Library.