Privacy Groups Urge Swift Passage of USA FREEDOM Act

More than 40 civil liberties and good government groups urged Congress to pass the USA FREEDOM Act, a surveillance reform bill re-introduced by Senator Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday.

July 31, 2014

More than 40 civil liberties and good government groups sent a letter to Senate and House leadership urging the swift passage of the version of the USA FREEDOM Act re-introduced by Senator Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday. Although the bill does not address all surveillance problems necessary for comprehensives reform, groups are heralding the bill as a good first step and ask Congress to pass it without any amendments or dilutions of its current protections. 

Specifically, the bill would:

  1. Prohibit indiscriminate bulk collection of records under Section 215 and strengthen minimization requirements in instances where a Section 215 order is likely to return records on more than one individual;
  2. Strengthen transparency reporting provisions by improving the level of detail that private companies can include in their transparency reports and strongly enhances communications collection reporting by the government and
  3. Strengthen the accountability of FISA Court (FISC) by creating a Special Advocates to watchdog and  advocate for privacy and civil liberties in hearings.

Download the Letter [PDF]

records under Section 215 and help
curtail other forms of broad

Letter Supporting Passage of USA FREEDOM Act (S. 2685)