Things are looking up for freedom! A bill first introduced in July that was speculated to never even find a co-sponsor has picked up five–predictably, all Democrats. Support is steadily gaining for a bill in the House as public concerns grow over the ever-encroaching scope of the NSA and other agencies post-911.
H.R.2818, or the Surveillance State Repeal Act, sponsored by Rep. Rush Holt(D-NJ), is co-sponsored by Rep. James McGovern(D-MA), Rep. Lloyd Doggett(D-TX), Rep. Barbara Lee(D-CA), Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), and Rep. John Tierney(D-MA), seeks to roll back the widespread and indiscriminate utilization of electronic surveillance that the Patriot Act and subsequent legislation have allowed to occur.
The bill seeks to repeal the Patriot Act and the 2008 FISA Amendments Act. Rep. Holt says the bill would restore a “uniform probable-cause-based warrant standard for surveillance requests, and would prohibit the government from forcing companies to create backdoors to enable spying on United States citizens with ease. The bill also seeks to ban government requirements that software makers hand over methods of bypassing encryption–a regulation that is expected to cost the cloud-computing industry between $22 billion and $35 billion over the next few years.
The bill would also include “true legal protections for national security whistleblowers,” as well as “changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to give it greater expertise in reviewing and challenging executive branch applications for surveillance operations,” according to Rep. Holt.
“The executive branch’s groundless mass surveillance of Americans has turned our conception of liberty on its head. My legislation would restore the proper constitutional balance and ensure our people are treated as citizens first, not suspects.”
Sounds like a good plan!
Until something happens, there’s always Trevor Moore’s idea.
Full Text of the Bill Below:
[Congressional Bills 113th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 2818 Introduced in House (IH)] 113th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 2818 To repeal the USA PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES July 24, 2013 Mr. Holt introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Select Committee on Intelligence (Permanent Select), Financial Services, Foreign Affairs, Energy and Commerce, Education and the Workforce, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To repeal the USA PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Surveillance State Repeal Act''. SEC. 2. REPEAL OF USA PATRIOT ACT. The USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56) is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted. SEC. 3. REPEAL OF THE FISA AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2008. (a) Repeal.--The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-261; 122 Stat. 2477) is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted. (b) Exception.--Subsection (a) of this Act shall not apply to sections 103 and 110 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-261; 122 Stat. 2477). SEC. 4. TERMS OF JUDGES ON FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE COURT; REAPPOINTMENT; SPECIAL MASTERS. (a) Terms; Reappointment.--Section 103(d) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1803(d)) is amended-- (1) by striking ``maximum of seven'' and inserting ``maximum of ten''; and (2) by striking ``and shall not be eligible for redesignation''. (b) Special Masters.--Section 103(f) of such Act, as amended by section 3 of this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph: ``(4) Special Masters.-- ``(A) The courts established pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) may appoint one or more Special Masters to advise the courts on technical issues raised during proceedings before the courts. ``(B) In this paragraph, the term `Special Master' means an individual who has technological expertise in the subject matter of a proceeding before a court established pursuant to subsection (a) or (b).''. SEC. 5. ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE OF SPECIFIED PERSONS WITHOUT REGARD TO SPECIFIC DEVICE. Section 105(c)(2)(B) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1805(c)(2)(B)) is amended to read as follows: ``(B) that, upon the request of the applicant, any person or entity shall furnish the applicant forthwith all information, facilities, or technical assistance necessary to accomplish the electronic surveillance in such a manner as will protect its secrecy and produce a minimum of interference with the services that such carrier, landlord, custodian, or other person is providing that target of electronic surveillance;''. SEC. 6. ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS FOR COLLECTIONS UNDER THE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE ACT OF 1978. (a) In General.--Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), as amended by section 3 of this Act, is further amended to read as follows: ``TITLE VII--ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS ``SEC. 701. WARRANT REQUIREMENT. ``Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, no information relating to a United States person may be acquired pursuant to this Act without a valid warrant based on probable cause.''. (b) Table of Contents Amendments.--The table of contents in the first section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), as amended by section 3 of this Act, is further amended by striking the items relating to title VII and section 701 and inserting the following new items: ``TITLE VII--ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS ``701. Warrant requirement.''. SEC. 7. ENCRYPTION AND PRIVACY TECHNOLOGY OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES AND SOFTWARE. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Federal Government shall not mandate that the manufacturer of an electronic device or software for an electronic device build into such device or software a mechanism that allows the Federal Government to bypass the encryption or privacy technology of such device or software. SEC. 8. GAO COMPLIANCE EVALUATIONS. (a) In General.--The Comptroller General of the United States shall annually evaluate compliance by the Federal Government with the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). (b) Report.--The Comptroller General shall annually submit to Congress a report containing the results of the evaluation conducted under subsection (a). SEC. 9. WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINTS. (a) Authorization To Report Complaints or Information.--An employee of or contractor to an element of the intelligence community that has knowledge of the programs and activities authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) may submit a covered complaint-- (1) to the Comptroller General of the United States; (2) to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives; (3) to the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate; or (4) in accordance with the process established under section 103H(k)(5) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3033(k)(5)). (b) Investigations and Reports to Congress.--The Comptroller General shall investigate a covered complaint submitted pursuant to subsection (b)(1) and shall submit to Congress a report containing the results of the investigation. (c) Covered Complaint Defined.--In this section, the term ``covered complaint'' means a complaint or information concerning programs and activities authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) that an employee or contractor reasonably believes is evidence of-- (1) a violation of any law, rule, or regulation; or (2) gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety. SEC. 10. PROHIBITION ON INTERFERENCE WITH REPORTING OF WASTE, FRAUD, ABUSE, OR CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR. (a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an officer or employee of an element of the intelligence community shall be subject to administrative sanctions, up to and including termination, for taking retaliatory action against an employee of or contractor to an element of the intelligence community who seeks to disclose or discloses covered information to-- (1) the Comptroller General; (2) the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives; (3) the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate; or (4) the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community. (b) Definitions.--In this section: (1) Covered information.--The term ``covered information'' means any information (including classified or sensitive information) that an employee or contractor reasonably believes is evidence of-- (A) a violation of any law, rule, or regulation; or (B) gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety. (2) Intelligence community.--The term ``intelligence community'' has the meaning given the term in section 3 of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3003).