Aug. 1, 2014, 7:08 p.m.

The New USA FREEDOM Act: Mild Protection from Some Surveillance

On July 29, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) brought out his new proposal for NSA reform. It's the result of an enormous amount of behind-the-scenes consultation with: reform groups like EFF and the Open Technology Institute; Democratic and Republican leaders; the White House; and the intelligence agencies. It's a stronger reform than would have been politically possible before Edward Snowden, and it will probably outlaw bulk collection under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.

With all honesty, Restore The Fourth congratulates the reform groups for going through this process to get a bill to the floor. We're recommending to our 25 chapters that they should advocate for allowing this bill to come up for a vote, and should also support the Wyden-Udall amendment tightening its language further. But we're leaving whether to take this recommendation up to them. We cannot, as a collective organization, wholeheartedly endorse the bill as it stands.

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