October 29, 2013
Congressman Walter B. Jones Press Office
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) cosponsored the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act to protect the American people’s right to privacy in light of revelations that the federal government’s National Security Agency (NSA) regularly engages in unnecessary surveillance of law-abiding citizens’ communications. The USA FREEDOM Act would end the mass collection of American telephone records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act and would limit the scope of information that may be sought to that which specifically pertains to a foreign investigation.
In addition, the bill would increase the transparency of the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC or FISA Court) by requiring public disclosure of certain decisions and publication of annual or semiannual reports on surveillance under FISA orders. A new Office of the Special Advocate would be created to defend privacy interests before the FISC and appeal the court’s decisions. Furthermore, private companies would be permitted to provide information to consumers regarding their participation in NSA programs.
“The American people’s right to privacy has been continually eroded by this administration,” said Congressman Jones. “Passage of this legislation would be an important step in holding the government accountable and ending its unfortunate history of infringing on the constitutional rights of the citizens it is meant to serve.”
The USA FREEDOM Act was introduced in the House of Representatives today, and a companion bill with bipartisan support has been introduced in the Senate. Congressman Jones has voted against every reauthorization and extension of the Patriot Act since it became law in 2001 and has been a consistent champion of limiting government surveillance of the American people – including voting against CISPA, SOPA, and the FISA Amendments Act.
For additional information, please contact Sarah Howard in Congressman Jones’ office at (202) 225-3415.