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Published On: Thu, Sep 26th, 2013

Senate bill moves ahead to end NSA monitoring practices and make FISA decisions more public

The National Security Agency monitoring United States citizens and allies now face a bipartisan group of senators who are in unveiling legislation that would end the collection of millions of Americans’ phone records and data on Internet usage.

The Senate may be pushing back agains tthe NSA spy program with a new bill

The Senate may be pushing back agains tthe NSA spy program with a new bill

Three Democrats: Oregon’s Ron Wyden, Mark Udall of Colorado and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut , and Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky outlined their legislation to end longstanding NSA surveillance practices and open up some of the actions of the secret federal court that reviews government surveillance requests.

The lawmakers argued that their bill is the appropriate response to disclosures this past summer about the sweeping surveillance programs, one that gathers U.S. phone records and another that is designed to track the use of U.S.-based Internet servers by foreigners with possible links to terrorism.

Wyden said the programs and revelations have undercut U.S. businesses required to provide data to the intelligence community while infuriating foreign leaders.

Earlier this week, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff accused the United States of violating her country’s sovereignty by sweeping up data from billions of telephone calls and emails that have passed through Brazil, including her own.

In protest, Rousseff scuttled a scheduled state visit to the United States.

“This is not a small hiccup,” Wyden told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference.

The bipartisan group unveiled the bill ahead of a Senate hearing with the nation’s top intelligence officials, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Army Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, in hopes of jump-starting the debate over the programs.

“Americans with no link to terrorism or espionage should not have to worry that the NSA is vacuuming up their private information,” Udall said.

The bill would change current law to prohibit the bulk collect of Americans’ phone records and their communications data. The government could still obtain records of anyone suspected of terrorism or espionage and of an individual in contact with a suspected terrorist or spy.

Paul said he didn’t understand how a “warrant that has 10 million unnamed people, all customers of Verizon” is consistent with the Constitution.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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