The National Security Agency has gone too far, and now it’s time for Congress to rein it in.
On October 29, 2013, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) teamed up to introduce the USA FREEDOM Act in the House and Senate. The bill represents a truly bipartisan, bicameral effort to reform the government’s surveillance authorities revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, led by two powerful and respected members of Congress.
The legislation seeks to rein in the NSA by doing the following:
- End the bulk collection of Americans’ records shared with third parties and put reasonable limits on Patriot Act powers targeted at people in the United States. The new restrictions would apply not only to phone records collected under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, but national security letters and pen registers that have also been abused.
- Amend the 2008 FISA Amendments Act to require the government obtain a court order before using information about Americans collected during foreign intelligence operations.
- Increase transparency by allowing communications providers to disclose the number of surveillance orders they receive, mandate the government publish how many people are subject to surveillance orders, and make public significant FISA court opinions since July 2003.
- Create a public advocate that could advise the secret surveillance court in certain cases.
The ACLU strongly supports the USA FREEDOM Act and urges everyone to contact their members of Congress and tell them to co-sponsor the true reform bill that begins to roll back the surveillance state….