USA Freedom Act Opens Door to Surveillance

Posted May 15, 2015 at 5:00am

H.L. Pohlman argues that the USA Freedom Act, the legislation meant to end the NSA’s bulk telephony metadata collection program, “gives with one hand” while “it rather uncharitably takes back with the other.”  

“If you are in communication with a foreign-based group that the U.S. government is targeting for the purpose of obtaining “foreign intelligence information,” or even if that foreign-based group knows who you are, then the government will be able to collect your phone records if the current version of the USA Freedom Act becomes law.”  

“Apologies for the legalese — but it is the loopholes hidden in that legalese that the intelligence community’s lawyers presumably hope we (and Congress!) will be unable to discover. The bottom line is straightforward enough: In terms of the privacy rights of U.S. citizens, the USA Freedom Act, as currently written, will take away more than it will give back. This could be why the White House, and the NSA, are happy to see it pass.”