Pressure builds to crack down on NSA spying

(By Deutsche Welle) Not only is Obama’s advisory panel putting pressure on the president, but Congress is also considering two bills aimed at the NSA’s spying programs. Will they provide additional protections for non-US citizens?

Republican Representative Jim Sensenbrenner has introduced the USA Freedom Act, which would tighten restrictions on NSA metadata collection. The bill represents a major political reversal for the Wisconsin conservative. After the 9/11 attacks, Sensenbrenner played a key role in the passage of the PATRIOT Act, the law that served as the genesis of expanded counterterrorism powers for law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

“…Somewhere along the way, the balance between security and privacy was lost,” Sensenbrenner said in a recentĀ press release. “It’s now time for the judiciary committees to again come together in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the law is properly interpreted, past abuses are not repeated and American liberties are protected.”

Meanwhile, the FISA Improvements Act has cleared the Senate Intelligence Committee in a 11-4 vote. According to one of the bill’s main sponsors, Senator DianneĀ Feinstein, the legislation would increase transparency and accountability but keep bulk metadata collection largely in place.

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