In this Jan. 17, 2014, photo, President Barack Obama Talks about National Security Agency surveillance at the Justice Department in Washington.
"Where there is vagueness in a law, you can count on the administration to exploit it," Johnson said."Where there is vagueness in a law, you can count on the administration to exploit it," Johnson said.
BREAKING: USA FREEDOM Act passes the House. It's a weak attempt at NSA reform. We're working for a stronger version in the Senate.— EFF (@EFF) May 22, 2014
Silicon Valley weighs in
Representative Justin Amash (R-MI 3rd), an original cosponsor of the Freedom Act, pulled his support this week and voted "no" on Thursday. In a Facebook postthat was published just before it passed, Amash said "the revised bill that makes its way to the House floor this morning doesn't look much like the Freedom Act."
This morning's bill maintains and codifies a large-scale, unconstitutional domestic spying program. It claims to end "bulk collection" of Americans' data only in a very technical sense: The bill prohibits the government from, for example, ordering a telephone company to turn over all its call records every day.
But the bill was so weakened in behind-the-scenes negotiations over the last week that the government still can order—without probable cause—a telephone company to turn over all call records for "area code 616" or for "phone calls made east of the Mississippi." The bill green-lights the government's massive data collection activities that sweep up Americans' records in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
As the bill heads to the Senate, Amash's spokesman Will Adams said the congressman is encouraged by recent statements from Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that show he wants to see additional privacy protections in the Senate's version of the bill. He said the congressman will continue to work with his allies in the Senate. After the bill passed on Thursday, Leahy's office issued a statement saying the senator supported the House of Representatives "for taking an important step towards reforming our nation’s surveillance authorities," but was "disappointed" that the Freedom Act doesn't include some of the reforms contained in its original version. "I will continue to push for these important reforms when the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the USA FREEDOM Act next month," he said. Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
Tags: Barack Obama