Privacy advocates fear NSA bill is being gutted

Stop Making Sense

Kate Tummarello writes for The Hill:

‘Privacy advocates are worried that a bill intended to reform the surveillance activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) is being watered down before it heads to the House floor. “Last stage negotiations” between members of the House and the Obama administration could significantly weaken provisions in the NSA bill, people familiar with the discussions say.

“Behind the scenes, there’s some nervousness,” one House aide said. Earlier this month, the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees came together to approve a compromise version of the USA Freedom Act. That bill, authored by Patriot Act author Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), would scale back many of the sweeping surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden.

To win the support of NSA defenders, lawmakers abandoned some reform provisions in Sensenbrenner’s original bill. One of the major changes was dropping the appointment of a constitutional advocate to the Foreign Intelligence…

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