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The end of unwarranted NSA mass surveillance on US citizens may finally be in sight with the (for once) properly named USA RIGHTS Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Reforming and Improving the Government’s High-Tech Surveillance Act). The USA RIGHTS Act essentially reaffirms American constituional privacy rights in light of continued overreaches of the government’s overuse of Section 702 of FISA Amendments Act. Currently the NSA collects a database of online communications, which includes Americans, and can be searched by other law enforcemen without a warrant. Section 702, which has President Trump’s unwavering support, will expire this year unless extended. The USA RIGHTS Act was submitted to Senate this week by a bipartisan group of Senators led by Senator Wyden. In the House of Representatives, Representatives Lofgren and Representative Poe introduced the companion legislation. Currently, Congress has two fron runner bills that would renew an limit Section 702 and find the balance between protecting domesic citizens’ privacy while maintaining the mandate to conduct foreign intelligence.
Unlike the ironically named USA Liberty Act, the USA RIGHTS Act actually ends the legal backdoor that allows the NSA to collect domestic communications and it also forcess the government to give notice when FISA Section 702 surveillance data is used against Americans and to give the more powers to address that in court. Specifically, unlike the so called USA Liberty Act, the USA RIGHTS Act would end “about” data collection. Additionally, the bill sets a 4-year sunset on Section 702 so complete elimination can again be on the table after a potential changeup in political roster.
Bipartisan coalition of politicians join together to reign in warrantless NSA surveillance with USA RIGHTS Act