Coalition wants US to end bulk data sweep

April 1, 2014
A Sprint Nextel cell phone store is seen on October 15, 2012 in Miami, Florida

More than 40 activist organizations and companies called Tuesday for an overhaul of US government surveillance authority that goes beyond President Barack Obama's proposal.

The coalition said Obama's proposal to end bulk collection of telephone data by the National Security Agency is positive, but does not go far enough.

Any reforms should "prohibit bulk collection for all types of data, not just phone records," the groups said in a letter to the White House and US lawmakers.

"Legislation that focuses only on may still allow for the bulk collection of, for example, Internet metadata, location information, financial records, library records, and numerous other records."

The letter said the reform should require prior approval for each record request from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

"If there is concern that the FISA Court would move too slowly to authorize domestic surveillance beforehand, then the solution should be to provide the FISA Court with sufficient resources," the letter said.

The organizations backed the USA Freedom Act introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, and rejected a more narrow bill introduced by a different group of lawmakers.

The letter was endorsed by the American Civil Liberties Union, American Library Association, Amnesty International USA, Center for Democracy & Technology Center, Electronic Frontier Foundation and the social network Reddit, among others.

It came days after Obama put forward a long-awaited plan to end the US government's bulk collection of telephone records, aiming to defuse a controversy over on millions of Americans.

The overhaul represents the president's proposals to reform procedures at the NSA, which was rocked by disclosures about its activities in documents leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

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Rick150
not rated yet Apr 02, 2014
I think the NSA should keep doing what it's doing. Good for innovation in security software as a sword works better with two edges, cuts both ways. Just think, if the threat of the Soviets getting to the moon first was missing then innovation as we know it would be years behind. Threats create innovative ideas, good on you NSA for the unintended consequences, ramp it up so the other edge of the sword gets a good sharpening as well.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Apr 02, 2014
I think the NSA should keep doing what it's doing. Good for innovation in security software

But bad for US software companies. No one in their right mind would buy a software product (much less a security product) for sensitive data from an US vendor anymore.
After the revelations the incentive is already there to innovate in this sector - whether the NSA keeps playing 1984 or not.
alfie_null
not rated yet Apr 02, 2014
I think the NSA should keep doing what it's doing. Good for innovation in security software

But bad for US software companies. No one in their right mind would buy a software product (much less a security product) for sensitive data from an US vendor anymore.
After the revelations the incentive is already there to innovate in this sector - whether the NSA keeps playing 1984 or not.

I would prefer that NO organization be allowed to collect information about me without me knowing about it, without me having a say in its disposition. That, of course, would be a problem for many of these same companies that seek to make money off the Internet.

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