Amended USA Freedom Act draws questions from civil liberties groups
Sunday, May 11, 2014
The US House of Representatives as HR 3361 and to the US Senate as S. 1599, on Thursday passed out of and on to the House floor. reported the bill was "the most aggressive NSA reform bill under consideration in Congress", however, after amendment, the bill has been questioned for extending the Patriot Act and the reduction of reform to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act., introduced in to the
The USA Freedom Act had the stated goal of ending theof Americans' metadata, ending the secret laws created by the FISA court, and introducing a "Special Advocate" to represent public and privacy matters before the FISA court.
In May 2014, the free speech and protect patrons' against the Act.posted a "Manager's Amendment" on its website. Title VII of the Amendment read "Section 102(b)(1) of the USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 (50 U.S.C. 1805 note) is amended by striking 'June 1, 2015' and inserting 'December 31, 2017'", extending the through the end of 2017. A number of organizations have taken stances against the Patriot Act, for example, the became so concerned it urged its members to defend
According to Deputy Attorney General, even if the Freedom Act becomes law, the NSA could continue its bulk collection of American's phone records. He explained that "it's going to depend on how the [FISA] court interprets any number of the provisions" contained within the legislation. , Director of Civil Liberties at , stated:
The Administration and the intelligence community believe they can do whatever they want, regardless of the laws Congress passes, so long they can convince one of the judges appointed to the secretive(FISC) to agree. This isn't the . This is a .
Cynthia Wong of Human Rights Watch (HRW) expressed concern that "the bill does not address needed reforms to surveillance programs that affect millions of people outside US borders.” This being a key problem that plagues according to HRW.
Mike Rogers, a defender of theand the chairman of the , called the proposed amendments a "huge improvement". On the other hand, USA Freedom Act co-author and Chairman commented that he "remain concerned that the legislation approved today does not include some of the important reforms related to s, a strong special advocate at the , and greater transparency. I will continue to push for those reforms when the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the USA FREEDOM Act this summer."
- "US: Modest Steps on NSA Reform" — , May 8, 2014
- Zoë Carpenter. "Did Congress's best plan for NSA reform just lose its teeth?" — , May 8, 2014
- "Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Action by the House Judiciary Committee to End Bulk Collection" — , May 7, 2014
- Spencer Ackerman. "USA Freedom Act Clears House Committee" — , May 7, 2014
- John Hudson. "Key NSA Defender: Congress a lot closer on Surveillance Reform" — , May 6, 2014
- "Manager's Amendment to USA Freedom Act" — , May 6, 2014
- Jennifer Grannick. "NSA's Creative Interpretations Of Law Subvert Congress And The Rule Of Law" — , December 16, 2013