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Wed Oct 30, 2013, 01:28 PM

It's A Darn Good Thing All Those Snowden Revelations Came To Nothing... [View all]

Lawmakers propose USA Freedom Act to curb NSAís powers
By Brendan Sasso - TheHill
10/29/13

<snip>

Dozens of lawmakers from both parties introduced legislation Tuesday to rein in the National Security Agency's spying powers. The USA Freedom Act, which has 16 co-sponsors in the Senate and more than 70 in the House, would end the agency's massive phone record collection program ó one of the most controversial revelations from the leaks by Edward Snowden.

The bill was authored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), the original author of the Patriot Act in 2001.

In a statement, Sensenbrenner said the Patriot Act has helped keep Americans safe, but that "somewhere along the way, the balance between security and privacy was lost." "Itís now time for the Judiciary committees to again come together in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the law is properly interpreted, past abuses are not repeated and American liberties are protected," he said.

Civil liberties groups cheered the introduction of the USA Freedom Act, saying it would help end the NSA's privacy violations.

"The last five months have proven that the NSA cannot be trusted with the surveillance authorities they have been given by a secret court without the knowledge or approval of the American people," Michelle Richardson, a lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union, said. "The only way to stop the NSA's collect-it-all mentality is for Congress to pass legislation that prohibits the intelligence community from engaging in the dragnet surveillance of Americans' communications."

Other Senate co-sponsors include Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). In the House, the bill is backed by Reps. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

The National Rifle Association, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Constitution Project and other civil liberties groups have also endorsed the bill...


<snip>

More: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/331199-usa-freedom-act-would-curb-nsa-power





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