KUTV) Utah Sen. Mike Lee, along with Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, were successful in selling the U.S. House of Representatives on the Freedom Act. Now, they hope they can do the same in the Senate.
The Freedom Act would replace a section of the controversial law that allows the NSA to spy on the phone records of pretty much every American. The current phone spying law, section 215 of the Patriot Act, expires this weekend.
“It makes a lot of people uneasy, makes a lot of people nervous that they are collecting this much data,” said Lee of the NSA’s bulk telephone metadata collection program which takes phone records in bulk from phone companies, without a search warrant. It’s supposed to help find terrorists but to date, Lee said neither the NSA nor the FBI could say how the program has helped.
“None of them could identify a specific terrorist activity thwarted because of this,” said Lee.
The Freedom Act would allow the NSA to obtain phone records, with a court order, of people who are suspected of terrorism or are “two degrees of separation” away from a person who is suspected of terrorism. It does away with the drag net collection data collection process that now exists.