Patriot Act author prepares bill to put NSA bulk collection ‘out of business’

The Guardian reports: The conservative Republican who co-authored America’s Patriot Act is preparing to unveil bipartisan legislation that would dramatically curtail the domestic surveillance powers it gives to intelligence agencies.

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, who worked with president George W Bush to give more power to US intelligence agencies after the September 11 terrorist attacks, said the intelligence community had misused those powers by collecting telephone records on all Americans, and claimed it was time “to put their metadata program out of business”.

His imminent bill in the House of Representatives is expected to be matched by a similar proposal from Senate judiciary committee chair Patrick Leahy, a Democrat. It pulls together existing congressional efforts to reform the National Security Agency in the wake of disclosures by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Sensenbrenner has called his bill the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-Collection, and Online Monitoring Act – or USA Freedom Act, and a draft seen by the Guardian has four broad aims.

It seeks to limit the collection of phone records to known terrorist suspects; to end “secret laws” by making courts disclose surveillance policies; to create a special court advocate to represent privacy interests; and to allow companies to disclose how many requests for users’ information they receive from the USA. The bill also tightens up language governing overseas surveillance to remove a loophole which it has been abused to target internet and email activities of Americans. [Continue reading…]

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One thought on “Patriot Act author prepares bill to put NSA bulk collection ‘out of business’

  1. Norman

    You can be sure that the good Congressman has been gone over by the NSA looking for any dirt that may be in his mud room. The poor NSA, getting picked upon, and sniveling about how the “O” isn’t beating the drums in their favor. I might ask: just what do they, the NSA, consider themselves to be? Certainly not patriotic due to the snooping on every Americans private communications, as well as every other aspect that the internet is used for, as well as phone calls too. What the NSA is doing, is like having a complete physical examination in the privacy of your doctors office, when you bend over and spread your cheeks, but instead of just the Doctor there with the rubber glove on, there is a constant parade of strangers giving you the glove. Another operation that the military has turned into a clusterfuck.

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