Senators Introduce Bill to Curb Government Surveillance

September 26, 2013

Washington – Senators Richard Blumenthal, Rand Paul, Mark Udall and Ron Wyden have introduced bipartisan legislation this week to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to curtail the overbroad collection of bulk communications data that the government has claimed was legal. The legislation would not restrict the ability of the government to collect data on anyone suspected of terrorism or in contact with anyone suspected of terrorism or spying. The bill, the Intelligence Oversight and Surveillance Reform Act, would also reform the highly secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association had warned of the potential abuse of government surveillance power in Congressional testimony and has advocated for better transparency, meaningful boundaries, and effective checks and balances, when the government engages in surveillance. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“This legislation would focus surveillance on targeting terrorists not average citizens and eliminate the bulk data collection programs that have disturbed people around the world as they learned about the scope, secrecy and legally questionable tactics being used.

“It’s time the US rebuilds trust with its citizens and those around the world. This bill is a critical step. It would restore some badly needed checks and balances and close some legal loopholes that were secretly being exploited to obtain massive amounts of electronic data. These policies risked eroding our democracy and this legislation is designed to provide the information US citizens would need to weigh in on the appropriateness of surveillance policies.

“One of the other important provisions of this legislation would permit companies to disclose information about government surveillance requests, and it would also require the government to report information on the scope of surveillance to the public. Further, it would give more power to compel testimony to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which was set up ensure government policies did not override constitutional rights.”

Related Articles

CCIA Supports Efforts to Address Censorship Practices, Digital Trade Barriers in China Legislation

May 27, 2021

Washington, DC — The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) supports efforts by Senator Wyden and others to include language in the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act to address foreign censorship practices and strengthen the ability of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to combat digital trade barriers. Foreign censorship practices by authoritarian regimes,…

CCIA Expresses Concern Over New Senate Bill To Weaken Encryption

Jun 24, 2020

Washington — A bill to give law enforcement more access to personal data with fewer legal protections for citizens has been introduced in the Senate Tuesday. Senators Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., have announced the  “Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act.” The bill would compel device manufacturers and providers…

CCIA Supports House Amendment to Protect Americans’ Browsing Data from Warrantless Collection

May 26, 2020

Washington — The House is expected to vote this week on a bipartisan amendment to H.R. 6172, the “USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020.” The amendment, brought by Representatives Lofgren (D-CA) and Davidson (R-OH), would protect Americans’ private internet browsing and search data from warrantless collection under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. A…