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12 New Bills That Threaten Big Brother NSA and Patriot Act


(Daniel G. J.)   The good news in Washington is that some members of Congress still believe in privacy and the Constitution. Even mainstream media reports have recently noted that 12 bills designed to scale back the surveillance state have been introduced on Capitol Hill.

The furthest reaching and most comprehensive of these bills is the Surveillance State Repeal Act or H.R. 2818, which would completely repeal the Patriot Act. This law, introduced by Rep. Rush Holt (D-New Jersey), would strip agencies like the NSA of the ability to force technology companies to given them access to customers’ data. It may even fight against new threats like the biometric classroom that tracks the conversations and eye movements of students.


Some other bills include:

  • The Libert-E Act (H.R. 2399) introduced by Representatives John Conyers (D-Michigan) and Justin Amash (R-Michigan) would restrict agencies to collecting data that only pertains to specific individuals effectively banning the collection of metadata on millions of people.

  • Senate Bill 1182 introduced by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colorado) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) would require the government to present a statement of facts and provide reasonable grounds to justify surveillance.

  • Senate Bill 1215, Senate Bill 1452, and House Bill 2736 would create more transparency in surveillance by requiring audits of surveillance programs and annual reports to Congress. These laws would also allow tech companies to divulge information about the requests they get for data from the NSA to the media.
  • Senate Bills 1460 and 1467 and House Bills 2586, 2475, and 2761 are attempts to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, or FISA, Court, which oversees surveillance efforts. Most of the bills would require Congress and not the Supreme Court to appoint FISA judges.

This legislation shows that there are members of Congress who are serious about limiting the surveillance state and doing something about surveillance abuses. The problem is that the leadership of both parties and both houses of Congress strongly support the surveillance state. It is doubtful that any of this legislation will ever make it out of committee, but it is a good start.

This story was first seen on Story Leak