Arizona Congressman seeks to protect Americans’ privacy from NSA

| November 6 2013

REP. SCHWEIKERT CO-SPONSORS LEGISLATION TO LIMIT NSA SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM AND PROTECT AMERICAN PEOPLE’S PRIVACY

Washington D.C., November 5, 2013 — Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) today continued the fight to protect the privacy rights of the American people by becoming a leading cosponsor of H.R. 3361, the USA FREEDOM (Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet Collection, and Online Monitoring) Act – a bipartisan and bicameral bill to end intrusive data collecting activities by the National Security Administration (NSA).

“Every week, new revelations are exposed detailing how the NSA and other intelligence agency personnel misled Congress and the American people about their invasive actions that have violated fundamental principles of privacy,” said Rep. Schweikert.  “We have a responsibility to hold Washington accountable for these egregious violations of individual privacy rights and to put in place vigorous oversight mechanisms to ensure the highest degree of transparency and accountability so that government over-reach like what the NSA has done never happens again.”

Rep. Schweikert is the first member of the Arizona Delegation to be an original co-sponsor of this effort to curb inappropriate intelligence gathering of private American citizens’ communications and to protect and defend their civil liberties.

The USA FREEDOM Act includes provisions that:

  • Ends the bulk metadata collection:  Intelligence agencies will now be required to show a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) judge that they are seeking communications records relevant to either an agent of a foreign power who is the subject of a terrorism investigation or someone with a link to that agent.  The bill will also require the government to more aggressively filter and discard information about Americans accidentally collected through surveillance programs
  • Reforms the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC):  The bill creates new and more robust reporting requirements to ensure that Congress and the American people are aware of actions by the FISC and intelligence community as a whole.
  • Increases transparency:  The FISC will be required to publicly explain and disclose all FISC decisions issued after July 10, 2003 that contain a significant construction or interpretation of the law.  Public companies will now be permitted to report an estimate of the number of FISA orders and national security letters received and complied with – and the number of users or accounts that were subject to FISA orders.

To read the text of the bill, please click here.

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