Issa Cosponsors Bill to Rein in NSA Surveillance Programs, Increase Oversight and Protect Individuals’ PrivacyOctober 30, 2013
WASHINGTON. D.C. – Representative Darrell Issa (CA-49) continued his efforts to protect Americans’ privacy rights 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, bicameral bill to end the bulk collection of Americans’ communications records under the USA PATRIOT Act and reform the process through which the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court issues warrants.
“We now know that the NSA and other intelligence agency officials have misled the Congress and the American people and that their actions are far more invasive with respect to communications of Americans than were previously known,” said Rep. Issa.
“Congress has a duty to conduct vigorous oversight – especially when the civil liberties of American citizens are in jeopardy. This legislation builds on my past efforts to hold the Administration accountable for outright violations of individual privacy rights and to increase transparency of the NSA’s surveillance programs.”
Key Components of the USA FREEDOM Act:
- 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 publically 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.