The USA FREEDOM Act is a bill with strong bipartisan support that will significantly limit the collection and use of Americans' information by the NSA. It’s time for us to push back against the NSA’s overreaching surveillance and this bill is the first step toward doing so.
Sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) the USA FREEDOM Act would amend Section 215 of the Patriot Act – which is used to collect the phone records of almost every American every day – so that it can no longer be used in such a sweeping fashion.
Rep. Sensenbrenner was the primary author of the USA Patriot Act who has become a vocal critic of the intelligence community’s use of the law to justify mass surveillance of Americans. “If Congress had known that the USA Patriot Act would be used to justify bulk collection of data about Americans, it would not have passed the bill,” Sensenbrenner said.
The USA FREEDOM Act would limit the secret FISA court to collecting things that directly pertain to a terrorist, his associates, or his activities. The bill would also require this standard for national security letters and pen registers, two other Patriot Act tools used to access Americans' records. The point here is to ensure that bulk collection doesn't just jump to another secret authority.
We've shown Congress before that our privacy is important to us by fighting bad bills like CISPA. If you're upset about the NSA's rampant spying, it's time to contact your member of Congress and ask that they cosponsor the USA FREEDOM Act.
The USA FREEDOM Act won’t completely stop government surveillance authorities and programs, but it is an incredibly important step toward limiting the NSA’s spying powers.