U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga) became the 100th co-sponsor of the National Security Agency (NSA)-reforming legislation on Thursday. The USA FREEDOM Act would provide more oversight and transparency to the NSA.
The "Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection, and Online-Monitoring Act" would (among other things):
· end bulk metadata collection;
· require the attorney general to disclose decisions made by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court (still allowing to classify confidential parts);
· allow telecom companies to publicize some information about their FISA court orders (the number of the orders, the national security letters, number of users for whom the information was requested);
· establish a "special advocate" office within the FISA court to represent the public (its privacy and civil liberties), with power to appeal rulings;
· amend the 702 (b) section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, preventing the intelligence agencies from intercepting email and internet activity of American citizens.
“We cannot be Pollyannas when it comes to national security but there must be limits to the government’s power,” said Kingston. “It is unacceptable for Uncle Sam to collect and store data on the off chance it could one day be used against you. This bill strikes the right balance between national security and privacy rights.”
The legislation has a wide, bi-partisan support in the Senate and the House.
“The groundswell of support for this legislation is a testament to its growing momentum,” Kingston said. “We are united in this effort and look forward to seeing this bill signed into law.”
Kingston represents Georgia's first congressional district.
Click here to view the USA FREEDOM Act.