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Issued By
March 25, 2014

Congresswoman Sewell Co-Sponsors Bill to End NSA Bulk Data Collection While Preserving Counter-terrorism Capability

March 25, 2014

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell became an original co-sponsor of the FISA Transparency and Modernization Act of 2014. This bipartisan bill ends bulk collection of telephone, internet and email metadata by the NSA under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and codifies a ban on the bulk collection of sensitive personal records, including firearm sales records, library records, medical records, tax returns, and educational records.Under this bill, the government is required to seek court approval before and after obtaining metadata from communication companies.

Congresswoman Sewell is a member of the House Permanent Committee on Select Intelligence (HPSCI) and joined with Chairman Mike Rogers and Ranking Member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) as an original co-sponsor of this bipartisan bill.

"Today, I cosponsored a bill that would put an end to the bulk collection of email, telephone, internet and other data by the NSA which is a significant effort toward restoring the confidence of the American people," said Rep. Sewell. "This bill puts safeguards in place to protect how certain data is obtained by the NSA while continuing to minimize threats to our national security. The bill strikes a balance between protecting the NSA's ability to collect critical data and increasing the transparency of our intelligence programs. Safeguarding the privacy of all Americans is paramount, as is ensuring that our intelligence community can continue to protect against terrorist threats directed against the American people."

 

Today, Congresswoman Sewell joined HPSCI Chairman Rogers, Ranking Member Ruppersberger and Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) for a press conference to announce introduction of the legislation.

###

Background on the FISA Transparency and Modernization Act of 2014

The FISA Transparency and Modernization Act of 2014 would end NSA's bulk collection of Americans' telephone call records. The bipartisan bill would also codify a ban on any attempt to collect bulk e-mail and internet metadata, as well as codify a ban on any attempt to collect bulk firearm sales records, library records, medical records, tax returns, educational records, and other sensitive personal records. In the place of bulk collection, the bill creates a process that allows the government to collect only the metadata it uses to protect our national security in a targeted, individualized way with vigorous judicial review.

Under this bill, the government is required to seek court approval before and after obtaining metadata from communication companies. This process ensures judicial review of the metadata request process, but allows the government to obtain communication records quickly enough to minimize imminent terrorist threats. The government could notuse this new targeted metadata procedure to obtain the content of any communications or any personally identifiable information. The government would be required to compensate telecommunications companies for their expenses and companies would not be required to hold any records longer than they already do. To increase transparency and oversight, the bill would create an independent Inspector General for the NSA, require the government to release significant FISC decisions or issue unclassified summaries, and create new public reporting on FISA collection.

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This document was issued by Terri A. Sewell and was initially posted at sewell.house.gov. It was distributed, unedited and unaltered, by noodls on 2014-03-25 20:50:36. The original document issuer is solely responsible for the accuracy of the information contained therein.

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