Here’s some interesting news: Did you know the ACLU and NRA agree on something? – The USA Freedom Act. But our lame duck Senate still couldn’t get it passed.
Unfortunately, the Senate shot down this common sense bill by a vote of 58 to 42, just two votes shy of what it needed to move forward.
So what is the USA Freedom Act? It was an act that would limit the metadata collection of phone records by the NSA. It would effectively roll back some of the surveillance powers that the NSA has and require more difficult to get warrants to get the data from phone companies.
This may be just as well. The issue was essentially just punted to the Republican controlled senate. In June this issue will likely come back up as the basis for the surveillance will expire. I doubt a Republican senate is likely to give the Obama administration an extension of these broad powers to spy on the American people.
Any time citizens can roll back programs by the government it is a good thing, but it’s even sweeter when the programs are collecting data on law abiding citizens. With the corruption we have seen at the IRS, and botched programs like Fast and Furious, the federal government has given us a lot of reasons not to trust them.
There is nothing wrong with government per se. The problem with government arises when government fails to hold itself accountable and overreaches with the power it has. Remember the spy in the sky program that we highlighted earlier this week? It’s not cool. I wonder how many times my phone registered with the feds.
In this case, the spying comes down to a privacy issue. Should we expect that phone calls from us to our friends, coworkers, and customers be private? I think so.
Well, anyway, it is not often the the ACLU and the NRA both agree on something. For more information on this, visit http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/18/7241967/usa-freedom-act-for-nsa-reform-is-voted-down-in-the-senate