What’s Behind the ‘USA Freedom Act’ and the Reform of NSA Surveillance

From Fox News.

In a 67-32 vote, Congress approved the USA Freedom Act which supposedly brings about the following changes:

  • Resume the NSA data collection program, but only for a transition period of six months. After that, the legislation would no longer allow the NSA to sweep up Americans’ records in bulk. Instead, it would leave the records with phone companies and give the government the ability to seek access with a warrant.
  • Continue other post-9/11 surveillance provisions that also lapsed Sunday night. These include the FBI’s authority to gather business records in terrorism and espionage investigations and to more easily eavesdrop on suspects who are discarding cellphones to avoid surveillance.
  • Create a panel to provide the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court with guidance on privacy and civil liberties matters.
  • Increase transparency for the surveillance court’s decisions.

It didn’t address the mass collection/surveillance of global internet traffic within American¬† communications.¬† However, there’s still a collection program that allows the NSA to hunt for foreign threats utilizing the U.S. communications network and to collect intelligence on cyberattacks.

Intelligence agencies are quite capable of collection and surveillance methods that don’t violate the privacy and 4th Amendment rights of innocent Americans.

But they will still find ways to do it.

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