FourFourtwo The NSA bill passed the US Senate and the House of Representatives on Thursday with strong bipartisan support, but what are its chances of becoming law?
What is the likely impact on privacy and privacy rights in the US?
The Senate passed the USA Freedom Act by a vote of 54-43, with most Democrats and most Republicans voting for the bill.
The bill, known as the USA FREEDOM Act, is the culmination of a legislative process in which members of the intelligence community and Congress have sought to address the growing concerns over the NSA’s collection of the data of millions of Americans.
The legislation would also end a practice known as bulk collection of data known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which allows the US government to collect data from foreigners located abroad without a court order.
The USA FREELAND Act would give the intelligence agencies broad authority to acquire, store, and disseminate data from the databases of foreign countries without a warrant, without specific judicial approval, and without the need to show probable cause.
“Section 702 surveillance has been the source of concern in the privacy and civil liberties communities for years,” said Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who sponsored the bill along with Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, in a statement.
“Now, after years of intense debate and extensive deliberation, the USA PATRIOT Act gives us a clear framework for our oversight of the collection and use of Americans’ data in a manner that respects privacy and minimizes the risk of abuse.”
The USA PATRA, which is currently in the Senate Intelligence Committee, will allow Congress to pass legislation that will address these concerns and ensure our surveillance capabilities remain as secure as they need to be.
“The USA Freedom and USA PATROL Act are also the first bills to include provisions to limit the ability of intelligence agencies to use their powers to obtain foreign intelligence under Section 702.”
This legislation addresses the concerns of the Intelligence Community, the Government Accountability Office, and the Director of National Intelligence about the use of Section 702 to collect and disseminat data collected overseas without a valid foreign intelligence purpose,” Wyden said in a press release.
The two-year legislation is the result of months of work by members of Congress and the intelligence communities, and was the result largely of input from members of both parties.
Wyden’s office is still in the process of compiling the legislation.”
I am proud to work with Senator Wyden and Senator Rand to pass this bill with broad bipartisan support,” said NSA Director Mike Rogers in a written statement.”
While the USA Patriot Act is an important first step, the future of Section 215 and other provisions of the USA Act will be determined in Congress, not in the Executive Branch.
“Read more about the USA bill here: