No End in Sight for Surveillance Police State
On Tuesday the House of Representatives gutted the so-called USA Freedom Act designed to curb surveillance abuse by the NSA. The version that emerged from Rules Committee is substantially different than the version approved by the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees two weeks ago. The watered down and weakened version is the result of the Obama administration leaning on House leaders behind closed doors. “The USA FREEDOM Act had previously passed through two committees before being secretly watered down behind closed doors,” notes Amie Stepanovich, Senior Policy Counsel at Access, a digital rights organization. “The version we fear could now be negotiated in secret and introduced on the House floor may not move us forward on NSA reform.” “Before this bill becomes law, Congress must make clear – either through amendments to the bill, through statements in the legislative record, or both – that mass collection of innocent people’s records isn’t allowed,” the New America Foundation writes in a statement. More