A coalition of advocacy groups, technology firms and multinational corporations have sent an open letter to The White House, urging a reform of the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance and data collection under the Patriot Act.
The NSA’s data collection expires on June 1 under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, but the US government may look to re-apply the surveillance, if new frameworks for collecting data are not pushed into Congress.
The Obama Administration did try to push a new framework for collecting data last year, but it failed to pass in the Senate. Under the new Republican backed Congress, it might be even harder for the Patriot Act to be touched.
Google, Microsoft, Apple and a few other multinational corporations signed the letter. It asks for a new framework where the organisation has control over what data is sent to the government, and it is all done above board.
“There must be a strong, clear, and effective end to bulk collection practices under the USA Patriot Act, including under the Section 215 records authority and Section 214 authority regarding pen registers and trap & trace devices,” the open letter states.
“Any collection that does occur under those authorities should have appropriate safeguards in place to protect privacy and users’ rights.”
The continuation of the program would be a clear violation of the fourth amendment. The NSA has not only created a web of surveillance throughout the United States, but worked with other intelligence agencies as part of the ‘Five Eyes Defeat’, collecting data globally.
It may become a major talking point of the next general election, especially since Republican potential candidate Rand Paul has stated he will put an end to these overzealous surveillance programs conducted by the NSA, FBI and CIA.
At the same time, we see intelligence agencies in Canada, Britain, New Zealand and Australia all gain more criticism from the general public, as we move into an age of higher privacy.
SOURCE: New America