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Submission + - ACLU and EFF Endorse Weaker USA Freedom Act Passed by Committee ( 1

sumakor writes: The House Judiciary Committee has advanced a weakened version of the USA Freedom Act (HR3361). The amended compromise version allows collection of phone call records up to two hops away from a target, potentially including millions of customer records, and allows for collection without a judge's order in emergency cases. The amended bill also drops the requirement for a privacy advocate who can appeal the rulings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and extends the controversial Section 215 of the Patriot Act from 2015 through 2017.

Despite these significant changes the amended bill has been endorsed by the ACLU and the EFF as a first step and the most promising path towards reigning in government surveillance. The two organizations called for further Congressional measures to tighten control of surveillance authorities including an explicit definition of the term "selector," a reduction in the number of hops from 2 to 1 under most circumstances and the closing the loophole that allows searches of Americans' data inadvertently collected thru Section 702.

The bill now proceeds to the House Intelligence Committee, who has advanced its competing bill, the FISA Transparency and Modernization Act (HR 4291). The committee will mark up both bills on the same day, begining at 10am Thursday, behind closed doors.

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ACLU and EFF Endorse Weaker USA Freedom Act Passed by Committee

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  • A lot of fine print in this color of law update.
    Telcos demand ever more retroactive immunity. The NSA gets its "reasonable articulable suspicion" to keep on not having to face a real court in any real way per interesting person at two hops.
    A lifetime of tracked US metadata is color of law legal, now fair game with less Fourth Amendment issues.
    The same brands can 'legally' help, telcos can split their national backhaul and feed now legal parallel construction.
    A digital Berlin Wall is now legal with all

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe