How Much of the NSA Can Congress Rein In?

The FISA Improvements Act, sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would do little to fundamentally alter the surveillance state beyond demanding increased transparency measures. The USA Freedom Act, championed by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., would end the bulk collection of communications records as allowed under Section 215 of the Patriot Act (which Sensenbrenner also authored) but would not restrict surveillance conducted by right of executive order.
National Journal
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Dec. 5, 2013, 8:52 a.m.

The FISA Im­prove­ments Act, sponsored by Sen. Di­anne Fein­stein, D-Cal­if., would do little to fun­da­ment­ally al­ter the sur­veil­lance state bey­ond de­mand­ing in­creased trans­par­ency meas­ures. The USA Free­dom Act, cham­pioned by Rep. Jim Sensen­bren­ner, R-Wis., would end the bulk col­lec­tion of com­mu­nic­a­tions re­cords as al­lowed un­der Sec­tion 215 of the Pat­ri­ot Act (which Sensen­bren­ner also au­thored) but would not re­strict sur­veil­lance con­duc­ted by right of ex­ec­ut­ive or­der.

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