Bipartisan Legislation to Reform NSA Programs Earns TCP Backing

On June 25, 2013, The Constitution Project sent a letter to Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) in support of the Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act (LIBERT-E Act).  Congressmen Conyers and Amash said they introduced H.R. 2399 in response to recent disclosures about the federal government’s surveillance programs.  The legislation has 34 cosponsors.

The bipartisan legislation has two primary components. First, to ensure better protections for Americans’ constitutional rights and civil liberties, the bill would tighten the standard for the government to obtain orders under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. TCP’s Liberty and Security Committee called for similar reforms in its 2009 Statement on Reforming the Patriot Act. Second, the bill would require more transparency surrounding the FISA Court’s interpretation of the law, changes consistent with the recommendations TCP’s Liberty and Security Committee made in its 2012 Report on the FISA Amendments Act of 2008.

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