Leahy, Sensenbrenner Introduce USA Freedom Act To Address Surveillance Issues

BY Heather Greenfield
October 29, 2013

Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association applauded the introduction of the USA FREEDOM Act today by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner. The new legislation includes important provisions to increase transparency, allows companies to report more statistical information about the number of demands they receive, and reforms the FISA court by including a special advocate. This bipartisan legislation includes two key reforms that CCIA has called for in the past.

The bill also begins to address the core problem of how to reform substantive and scope provisions from both the USA PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act.  CCIA supports their effort to grapple with these fundamental surveillance issues. These bills are the next step in a difficult national conversation that needs to recognize that policies in this area also impact important broad strategic and national security priorities in economic, diplomatic, political, and human rights arenas.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“Due to the stifling secrecy that has shrouded these programs for too long, the public and even some Congressional leaders, currently lack sufficient information to precisely define the contours and boundaries that are necessary in this area.  We hope the upcoming legislative process will fill this void and provide the insights to undertake the major reforms that are now clearly necessary.  I commend the Leahy/Sensenbrenner legislation for this beginning. It is vital to reform and properly focus our current surveillance system.”

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