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NSA Bills Set Up a Choice in Congress: End Bulk Collection of Phone Records or Endorse It

Ellen Nakashima, The Washington Post
Special to In Homeland Security

After nearly five months of controversy and debate, members of Congress may face a clear choice over the National Security Agency’s program to collect the phone records of nearly every American: endorse it or shut it down.

On Tuesday, lawmakers are expected to introduce the first comprehensive NSA legislation since the agency’s phone records program was disclosed in June.

FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act

Brett Daniel Shehadey
Special Contributor for In Homeland Security

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) is introducing the FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act of 2013 to revise the PATRIOT and FISA Acts by assuring that any US citizens that are targeted for surveillance are engaging in or communicating with terrorists.

Senator Leahy said that: “As Americans we have the right to know what our government does and why…The comprehensive legislation I’m introducing today will not only improve the privacy protections and accountability provisions associated with these authorities, it’s going to strengthen oversight and transparency.”

The move is an attempt to empower the courts, protect innocent Americans from intrusion and take away any broad sweeping domestic intelligence gatherings like those leaked classified FISA court orders.