USA FREEDOM Act to limit NSA mass data collection… only if Congress passes it

capital hill

In light of the recent NSA scandal, US congressmen and women are planning to do something to help make Americans to feel safer about their privacy while they are online. The new bill, Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection and Online Monitoring Act (or USA FREEDOM Act) is designed to curtail the NSA’s ability to collect information on the average online user.

This bill, broad by definition, focuses on reformation of the Patriot Act, section 215 and the Foreign Intelligent Surveillance Act (FISA), section 702. These two sections are the most used section by the NSA to conduct their operation. By reforming them, the NSA’s operations are to be curtailed.

Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, the sponsors of the bill, plan to place new rules that constrains the NSA’s policy of trap and trace. They want to close down the NSA’s habit of collecting bulk information and then sifting through it for usable information. Their bill also plans on closing the reverse targeting loop hole, prohibiting them from spying on foreign nationals in order to obtain information on United States Citizens.

As it stands now, companies that receive FISA orders are not allowed to disclose the information to the public or their users. The new bill will allow companies to disclose how many orders they have received, how many they have complied with, as well as the number of accounts or users that the order affected. The government would also be required to release the estimated number of individuals in the US that were subjected to these FISA orders.

Now let’s see if Congress passes the bill and President Obama signs it into law. …Who wants popcorn?

[via Tech Crunch]

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  • kevbo


    You could be right, but I don’t think so, as the Senate Intelligence Committee just today voted to affirm that agency’s ability to collect records of American’s telephone calls:

  • It’s only a first step, long needed, but not enough yet. Still, it’s better than what we have now.

  • Tom

    …. and if this passes, you’ll believe it will reduce surveillance? Really?

    … more misinformation, obfuscation and lies. Govt credibility has never been lower, and will likely never recover.

    Meet the new boss, worse than the old boss.

  • Shawn

    WWIII anyone?

    Well if things keep up this way I see in the near future another global war … “Prophecies of Nostradamus” anyone?

    Well I hope I’ll be in the same shuttle as ‘Seamus McSeamus” before some people go trigger happy.

    I seriously hope we get a solar flare to wipe all electronics at one point and to force old fashion ways on people.

  • etim

    Come on, people– this is the NSA we’re talking about.
    They’re gonna do whatever they damned well please and just not tell us about it.
    If/when they get caught and told to stop, they’ll just resume what they’d been doing using slightly different methods, sidestepping whatever laws we pass to try to make them behave.

  • Seamus McSeamus

    My chances of walking on Mars are better than the chances of this passing Congress and being signed by Obama. Once the camel’s nose is in the tent, it doesn’t pull it out, merely continues shoving until the whole body is inside.