Just two days after the expiration of Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act — the authority the National Security Agency claims allows it to vacuum up telephone metadata of innocent people in bulk — President Barack Obama signed the USA FREEDOM Act into law.
The USA FREEDOM Act, which passed in the Senate 67 – 32 earlier in the day, bans bulk collection under some U.S. surveillance powers, increases transparency, and improves accountability of surveillance agencies and oversight mechanisms.
Access supported the USA FREEDOM Act as the first step in a long journey toward comprehensive surveillance reform that protects the human rights of all people around the world. While many more reforms to U.S. and other surveillance programs and authorities are needed, this shows that through concerted effort by activists, lawmakers, and the public, surveillance reform is possible.
For more, read our press statement here.