The House Judiciary Committee is considering the third version of the USA Freedom Act in the last two years. In its current form, the bill effectively acts as if the Snowden revelations and several independent reviews of the PATRIOT Act Sec. 215 metadata program never happened.
The bill grants the government sweeping “emergency” collection authority not tied to an imminent threat of death or bodily harm, and allows the government to retain U.S. Person call detail records. It fails to address bulk collection and retention of US Person records, lacks mandatory US Person data destruction and audit compliance provisions, contains no protections for national security whistleblowers, has no bar on government-imposed “back doors”, does not bar targeting based solely on use of internet anonymizing technology, and does not address the recently revealed DEA telephony metadata program.
In a ten-and-a-half-hour-long filibuster over the NSA surveillance programs authorized under the Patriot Act yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul cited analysis by former CIA analyst and current Cato policy analyst Patrick G. Eddington.
“One thing is certain: the fight over reforming our nation’s surveillance laws is about to get much more intense, and quickly,” said Eddington.