FREEDOM Act Strengthens Civil Liberty Protections
This week in Washington, the House Judiciary Committee voted to end bulk data collection on Americans under section 215 of the Patriot Act. The USA Freedom Act, if enacted into law, would end bulk collection of the phone records by the NSA and would prohibit the government from large-scale indiscriminate collection of data. This legislation, though not perfect, goes a long way towards reigning in what I believe is an unconstitutional data grab by the NSA.
The bill makes national security agencies even more transparent with included provisions that permit tech companies and carriers to publicly disclose information about government requests for customer data and improved legal representation for citizens in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts.
As an attorney, I know the Fourth Amendment, and as a computer consultant I understand the necessity for digital privacy. The USA Freedom Act is a step in the right direction. Although some amendments I previously supported were not included, the legislation strikes a balance between civil libertarians and national defense hawks and may be able to make it to the president's desk for his signature into law.