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House Committee passes reform bill USA Freedom Act 32 – 0

By Kyle Lubelski,

On Wednesday, members of the House Judiciary Committee unanimously agreed to provisions on the USA Freedom Act. If approved, the bill would fundamentally limit NSA‘s mass collection of phone data.

According to The Washington Post, the bipartisan bill will outlaw bulk collection of any kind, and includes a White House provision requiring a judge’s approval for records of individual phone numbers before NSA can have them.

The new USA Freedom Act has found support among politicians and privacy advocates alike.

OTI policy director Kevin Bankston states, “Although the new version does not contain all of the reforms that were in the previous version, it is still far and away the best NSA reform bill on the table in the House.”

The Verge reports that while the bill leaves the mass collection of records to the phone companies, it also includes vague language over the right to “back door searches,” allowing operatives to access American’s communications indirectly through the perusing of foreign data.
The bill’s cosponsor, Rep. James F. Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) requested critics "not to make the perfect the enemy of the good."

The House Intelligence Committee is preparing its own privacy legislation to be considered this week as well.

 

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