The new version of the USA Freedom Act is a step in the right direction

by: William Neilson JrJuly 30, 2014

verizon-nsa MikeChurch

As expected, Senator Patrick Leahy recently introduced a new Senate version of the USA Freedom Act. This version of the bill was negotiated heavily by the White House and Senate and will block a number of activities by the NSA. A coalition of Apple, Facebook, Google and other major tech companies released a statement claiming that this bill would “help restore trust in the Internet by ending the government’s bulk Internet metadata collection and increasing transparency around U.S. surveillance practices.”

Unfortunately, there are a number of loopholes that continue giving the NSA access to significant amounts of data and information on American citizens. For example, the Director of the National Intelligence is exempt from data reporting that “cannot be determined accurately” and surveillance beyond the bulk collection of phone records while targeting foreigners is not mentioned in the bill.

the-nsa-is-coming-to-town WeKnowMemes

Some of the good parts of the bill include:

  • The NSA needing full Senate and House approval for a number of domestic surveillance activities.
  • Allowing companies t0 release additional details that the government is requesting from them.

As TechDirt notes, Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall have released a statement stating that they will try to strengthen the bill by adding an amendment which would close a number of so-called “loopholes” which could be used by the entire intelligence community to spy on Americans.

  • Shark Bait

    “Unfortunately, there are a number of loopholes that continue giving the NSA access to significant amounts of data”

    Why unfortunately?? Is it unfortunate they stop bombs going off in out cities? It it unfortunate they keep our troops safer at war? Is it unfortunate they save the lives of many citizens?

    I think this is one of the most powerful weapons any country could have, being able to know what’s going to happen before it does, and because of an idiot like Edward Snowdon, lives are being put at risk

    • salutcemoi

      yeah because they weren’t collecting data or intel pre-september 11…

      • Shark Bait

        Now they can do it much more effectively….

    • Melad360

      someone’s been drinking the kool aid..

    • Luka Mlinar

      Oh come on. First of salutcemoi is right, it didn’t stop any attack then. Secondly they’re not only collecting terrorist data but yours as well. If you know a person that knows a person who knows someone who might be a terrorist, then you my friend are under surveillance. NSA used the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game and applied it to terrorism.
      When Bradley Manning leaked the data, the US said that he put people in danger and that many might die because of the leak. All these years later and the US can’t come up with any pace of evidence of anything bad happening because of the leaks.
      Also why the hell are our European politicians under surveillance? This whole NSA program is so stupid, but the thing that bothers me is this stupid attitude people like you have by defending it. If Putin did this, you would bomb the hell out of Russia.
      But nah, America is above everyone else. They can do what ever they want.

      • dkbnyc

        “US said that he put people in danger and that many might die because of the leak” The lives put in danger were the criminals who trashed the Constitution. But as we all know, we are no longer a country whose legal footing is based on the United States Constitution. The grand and noble document was usurped by The Patriot Act.

    • dkbnyc

      Anyone who spits on the Constitution in favor of fake protection shouldn’t consider themselves an American. If you think Snowden put lives at risk then you’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid. Snowden made known that your government was spying on you. Recording your phone calls. Monitoring your every move. Now I understand some people are lily-livered sheeple and think the government can do as they please but just remember, we are not here to serve the government. The government is here to serve us.

      • Luka Mlinar

        Kool-Aid indeed. Popular drink these days.

      • Shark Bait

        im not and american and proud not to be.
        What difference does it make, so many companies are monitoring you, your carrier, your isp, google, facebook, every website you visit. They all collect and store your data some use it for profit, some use it for security.

  • dkbnyc

    USA Freedom Act – Another Orwellian term meaning it will do the exact opposite of what the majority of people thinks it will. Kinda like the Patriot Act turned the United States into Orwell’s 1984, I shudder to think what the USA Freedom Act will do.

    • Luka Mlinar

      Can it get any more 1984’ish than it already is? :/

      • dkbnyc

        Sure it can. Walmart can become the national store of the Fatherland and we can all be forced to wear the same outfit. There can be cameras in our homes watching our every move…wait, if you have a cable box, you’re already being watched.

        • Luka Mlinar

          My money’s on Hobby Lobby :D

          • dkbnyc

            Religion is soon to be outlawed. I give it 10 years.

          • Bob Reilley

            Oh how I wish religion was outlawed. At the very least every religion should lose its tax exempt status.