Several U.S senators said on Thursday that the American Congress would endanger the security of nation through passing even watered-down legislation to restrain the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records in the country.
Some members of the Senate Intelligence Committee stated objection to the U.S.A. Freedom Act, a bill aimed at controlling in NSA (Nation Security Agency) bulk collection of telephone and other records, even though quite a number of civil liberties groups and technology firms have questioned whether the bill will work as its sponsors originally expected.
Congress is “compromising to please a skeptical and frequently misinformed public”with the U.S.A. Freedom Act which is mistakenly concerned about NSA surveillance, Senator Dan Coats, an Indiana Republican said on a hearing on the House Bill, coming about a year after the first leaks of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden were published. James Cole, deputy attorney general at the DOJ, said that the American Freedom Act would forbid what the NSA and the U.S Justice Department think “bulk” collection of phone and business records.
However, Cole analyzed the definition of “bulk” collection. Quoting a House Intelligence Committee report on the American Freedom Act, Cole said, “Bulk collection stands for indiscriminate acquisition. It doesn’t mean the acquisition of a huge number of communication records. “Therefore, the House bill would allow the NSA collection of large numbers of records, if the collection was approved by the U.S. Surveillance court.
Senator Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, said that an amended definition of what kind of records the bill permits the NSA to collect gives the agency wide latitude. The version of the American Freedom Act that passed the house. He said, “is not the true reform I’ve demanded, and many other Americans have demanded, for years.”