WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) released the following statement after voting with a majority of his colleagues on the Intelligence Committee to advance the USA FREEDOM Act (H.R. 3361), a bill that ends the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ telephone call records in favor of more targeted, individualized collection of information.
“I am very pleased that the Committee reached a bipartisan compromise to move America towards a better balance between privacy and national security. While not perfect, this bill represents a good-faith compromise that will maintain our intelligence community’s ability to protect us while offering better safeguards for our civil liberties. I am especially pleased that the bill requires the NSA to get judicial clearance before, not after, they collect phone records – a provision supported by myself and President Obama. Ultimately, this bill will not be the final word on NSA reform, and I urge House Leadership to bring this bill to the floor so that we can take the next step towards ensuring stronger protections for Americans’ civil liberties.”
The USA FREEDOM Act ends the bulk collection of Americans’ data while creating a narrowly-tailored program to balance the security needs of the country with the protection of civil liberties and privacy. The bill also injects transparency and oversight into the process by requiring more detailed judicial review and by allowing service providers to publically disclose the requests they receive from the government.