The Brennan Center for Justice joins nearly 50 good government and privacy groups in a letter urging the president and Congress to pass the USA FREEDOM Act, a bill sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) that would close many of the loopholes that permit the government to collect a broad array of Americans’ data in bulk.
On March 27th, President Obama announced an NSA reform proposal that would leave phone records in the hands of the telephone companies instead of the government and would require a FISA Court order to perform searches for records associated with specific phone numbers. That proposal, however, while a good first step, does not address the continued bulk collection of other types of data, including Internet metadata, location information, financial records, library records, and numerous other records that may help “identify unknown relationships among individuals."
The USA FREEDOM Act, however, addresses each of these types of data and adds strong transparency provisions for both government and private entities. In the following letter, groups urges leaders to markup and pass the USA FREEDOM Act so that the “integrity of the Internet and the free exercise of individual liberty and human rights” can be preserved.