Washington – Representatives Sensenbrenner, Goodlatte, Conyers, and Nadler introduced the latest version of the USA Freedom Act today. The Computer & Communications Industry Association applauds the bipartisan introduction of this important bill to reform the bulk telephony metadata collection programs conducted by the NSA. CCIA looks forward to working with Congress to further strengthen and pass this legislation.
The legal authorities found in Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, which the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court have interpreted to allow for the bulk telephony records program, are set to expire on June 1 of this year. The new legislation would put an end to that mass surveillance program, while preserving more narrow authorities. The bill also includes important provisions to increase transparency by permitting companies to report more statistical information about the number of demands they receive.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association has been a voice against surveillance overreach for years, most recently testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:
“We stand ready to work with the bill’s authors and Congress to further improve the privacy-protective provisions in the USA Freedom Act. While the bill is neither a perfect nor complete reform of all the NSA’s mass surveillance authorities, it significantly narrows the ability of the NSA to collect call records and offers greater transparency, which is essential for citizens in a free society.
“The newly introduced USA Freedom Act goes a long way towards instituting the real reforms necessary to begin rebuilding the global public trust in digital services. The legal reforms in the USA Freedom Act send a clear signal to U.S. citizens and Internet users around the world that Congress is serious about ending government bulk surveillance practices and providing the public with tools that allow better oversight over remaining, narrowed programs.”