In the wake of the National Security Agency (NSA) revelations, polls show that the majority of Americans support reforms to the agency. Most are not pleased that the government is spying on their private activities without even a warrant. A handful of NSA reform bills have been introduced but they are not all created equal.
Here at FreedomWorks, we are supporting the USA Freedom Act. While it’s not a perfect bill, it’s a big step in the right direction. I would prefer a full repeal of the Patriot Act but I realize that Congress isn’t quite there yet. The next best thing is the USA Freedom Act that tightens section 215 of the Patriot Act to limit the bulk collection of records on Americans. Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows the FBI to spy on people without probable cause or letting anyone know that they are being monitored.
The USA Freedom Act would also increase government transparency by mandating the government publish how many people are subject to surveillance orders and reveal secret significant FISA Court opinions to the public. It would get rid of the gag order on companies and allow them to report how many requests they get from government to share information.
In an interview with United Liberty, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) said that there is a lot of support for the USA Freedom Act which currently has more than 140 cosponsors.
“There’s more than enough votes to pass the FREEDOM Act. The White House proposal and the Intelligence Committee proposal are simply an effort to stall the process. They don’t really do much, and it’s an effort to keep this issue going so that the President can continue to use the same system he’s been using without making any substantive changes.”
You can help ensure that the USA Freedom Act gets a vote by calling House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte at 202-225-5431.
There is a worry that they may push through a weak NSA reform bill just so they can say they “did something.” There are more a dozen proposals but there are four primary proposals. Access does a great job at rating these proposals. Click here to see their scorecard.
The USA Freedom Act is still the best bill to reform the NSA’s unconstitutional spying programs.