Stop Obama from spying on innocent Americans


In a “surprising and sudden move,” the House Judiciary Committee will mark up an amended version of the USA FREEDOM Act on Wednesday.

As reported in National Journal:

The maneuver [by the House Judiciary Committee] may also be a counter to plans the House Intelligence Committee has to push forward a competing bill that privacy advocates say would not go far enough to curb the government’s sweeping surveillance programs.

Indeed, just hours after the Freedom Act earned a markup date, the Intelligence Committee announced it, too, would move forward with a markup of its own NSA bill—the FISA Transparency and Modernization Act—on Thursday.

The more aggressive Freedom Act is sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, the one-time mastermind behind the post-9/11 Patriot Act, from which both the Obama and Bush administrations have derived much of the legal authority for their surveillance programs. Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican, has vocally condemned NSA spying since Edward Snowden’s leaks surfaced last June. The bill has long been supported by privacy and civil-liberties groups who view it as the best legislative reform package in Congress.

The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman notes possible tension between attempts to pass two different (but related) bills:

[House Judiciary Chairman Bob] Goodlatte, who had been hesitant to endorse the [USA FREEDOM Act], written by former committee chairman James Sensenbrenner, will now vote for it personally.

Goodlatte’s decision comes despite pressure by the House Republican leadership, which preferred an alternative bill, written by the House intelligence committee leadership, that would permit the government to acquire Americans’ data without a specific prior judicial order for it.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman and chief NSA apologist Mike Rogers criticized the USA FREEDOM Act for scaling back bulk data collection. His competing legislation will no doubt test Speaker Boehner’s leadership.

YOU can take action! Sign the “Stop the NSA” petition and tell Congress to pass the USA FREEDOM Act to STOP the NSA’s runaway domestic spying program.

See what top defenders of liberty are saying about the USA FREEDOM Act:

“I hope GOP leadership will support the Republican position against unconstitutiona NSA surveillance. It’s time to pass the Freedom Act.” — Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI)

“[Rep. Jim] Sensenbrenner’s USA FREEDOM Act would rein in NSA’s data collection, increase transparency. I’m supporting & cosponsoring.” — Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)

“The bipartisan USA Freedom Act is a step in the right direction to increase government transparency and protect the privacy of Americans. ” — Matt Kibbe, FreedomWorks

“All members of the House and Senate should co-sponsor the USA FREEDOM Act and fight hard for its passage.” — Michelle Richardson, ACLU

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