Wednesday, April 29, 2015

USA Freedom Act is a nice start but it doesn't go far enough without the Poe-Lofgren Amendment

From Demand Progress:

Yesterday, legislation was introduced in Congress that purports to rein in the NSA’s mass surveillance programs. It’s called the USA FREEDOM Act (as was a similar bill last year), and we don’t think that it goes far enough.

USA FREEDOM might do something very modest to constrain the NSA's behavior under the particular authorities that that agency has exploited to collect information about all of Americans’ phone calls.

But it also does some definitively terrible things, like giving companies immunity for facilitating government spying — and extending the very authority the NSA has manipulated to engage in mass surveillance.

Here's the thing: time is already running out — a committee vote on USA FREEDOM is expected TOMORROW. Can you make a call to your member of Congress and ask them to oppose USA FREEDOM because it doesn't go far enough — and to support key amendments to make it better?

Moreover, USA FREEDOM doesn’t address the fundamental problem: That the NSA is a rogue agency that operates under a cloak of darkness without meaningful oversight or checks on its power, and will lie and violate the law with impunity.

Even if the NSA’s ability to spy on us is constrained slightly, for now, we can expect it to do all in its power to warp the law — and torture the English language — to find justifications for ever more-expansive surveillance.

And because oversight is so limited, because Congressional leadership and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are so captured by the surveillance agencies and contractors, we won’t even find out about the NSA’s new schemes until another whistleblower surfaces in 10 or 20 years.

To learn more about why we are opposing this bill, you can read our press release about USA FREEDOM here.

If you agree with our take on the USA FREEDOM Act, can you make a call to your member of Congress right now?

Yes, I'll make a call to my member of Congress.

No, I don't have time to make a call — but I'll click here and chip in $10 to help Demand Progress in this fight.

Thanks for standing strong.

—David, Daniel, Mark, Sara and the rest of the Demand Progress team

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