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Tag Archive: FISA Improvements Act

Trick or Treat?: New FISA “Reform” Legislation Passes Senate Intelligence Committee

Earlier this week, Sen. Dianne Feinstein expressed outrage that “the Senate Intelligence Committee was not satisfactorily informed” of the NSA’s surveillance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone.  In response, Feinstein–typically a staunch supporter of the intelligence community–said “[i]t is abundantly clear that a total review of all intelligence programs is necessary” and that “our oversight needs to be strengthened and increased.”  With reform and increased oversight in the minds of the Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, draft legislation, which was introduced by Senator Feinstein, passed the full committee today by a vote of 11-4.

This bill, the draft FISA Improvements Acts [full text], purports to “increase[] privacy protections and public transparency of the National Security Agency call-records program in several ways.”  But let’s take a closer look to see whether the new legislation will prove to be a Halloween trick or treat for those looking for real reform of the NSA’s metadata programs.