New Privacy Bill Seeks To Reform FISA And Patriot Act, More Transparency On Surveillance

/ 3 years ago


The NSA PRISM scandal has caused outrage across the USA and the world, you can check our extensive coverage of developments with PRISM here. The latest development comes from within the USA itself and seeks to prevent such a scandal happening again. The new bill which has been presented to the Senate is called “the FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act of 2013“. This legislation seeks to reform the FISA and Patriot Acts in a way that prevents the government from exploiting them so much for surveillance purposes.

Multiple reforms include seeking to narrow the scope of section 215 of the Patriot Act by requiring the government to show both relevance to an authorised investigation and a link to a foreign group or power. This was needed because Section 215 was criticised for being used to obtain private information about people who have no links to any sort of terrorist activity. Another reform is allowing people to challenge non-disclosure or gag orders in court and expanding public reporting on the use national security letters. Furthermore, the bill will advance the “sunset date” of the FISA Amendments Act to June 2015 from June 2017 which enables it to align with the Patriot Act sunset. Finally the bill will increase oversight by forcing the inspector general of the intelligence community to conduct a comprehensive review of the FISA Amendments Act and its impact on the privacy rights of Americans.

Senator Leahy pushed for similar reforms last year which the Senate rejected but given the current political climate we could see such measures passed this time around.

Image courtesy of EFF

Topics: , , , , , , , ,

  • Wayne

    Yeah. Hindsight is always 20/20 vision.