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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rep. Rush Holt Bill To Repeal PATRIOT And FISA Amendments Acts Now Live, Ambitious | Techdirt

Rep. Rush Holt Bill To Repeal PATRIOT And FISA Amendments Acts Now Live, Ambitious | Techdirt
NJ Rep. Rush Holt announced back on July 11th that he was planning legislation to repeal boththe PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act. The text of Holt's bill, the "Surveillance State Repeal Act," has been posted, along with a summary of the key aspects of the legislation.

Holt's bill covers a lot of ground for something that only runs about 8 pages long, and as promised, some additional protection for whistleblowers is built in. Here's the summary:
The Surveillance State Repeal Act would:

1. Repeal the PATRIOT Act (which contains the telephone metadata harvesting provision).

2. Repeal the FISA Amendments Act (which contains the email harvesting provision).

3. Ensure that any FISA collection against a US Person takes place only pursuant to a valid warrant based on probable cause (which was the original FISA standard from 1978 to 2001).

4. Retain the ability for government surveillance capabilities to be targeted against a specific natural person, regardless of the type of communications method(s) or device(s) being used by the subject of the surveillance.

5. Retains provisions in current law dealing with the acquisition of intelligence information involving weapons of mass destruction from entities not composed primarily of U.S. Persons.

6. Prohibit the government from mandating that electronic device or software manufacturers build in so-called “back doors” to allow the government to bypass encryption or other privacy technology built into said hardware and/or software.

7. Increase the terms of judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) from seven to ten years and allow their reappointment.

8. Mandate that the FISC utilize technologically competent Special Masters (technical and legal experts) to help determine the veracity of government claims about privacy, minimization and collection capabilities employed by the US government in FISA applications.

9. Mandate that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) regularly monitor such domestic surveillance programs for compliance with the law, including responding to Member requests for investigations and whistleblower complaints of wrongdoing.

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