USA Freedom Act
June 2, 2015
- The Freedom Act bans the bulk collection of data of America’s telephone records and internet metadata.
- The Freedom Act limits the government’s data collection to the “greatest extent reasonably practical—which means the government can’t collect all data pertaining to a particular service provider or broad geographic region, such as a city or area code.
- Instead of bulk data collection, the bill authorizes the government to collect from phone companies up to “two hops” of call records related to a suspect, if the government can prove it has reasonable suspicion that the suspect is linked to a terrorist organization.
- The Freedom Act provides the government with new reporting requirements to FISA authorities.
- The Freedom Act gives private companies more opportunities to publicly report information about the number of FISA orders they receive
- The Freedom Act declassifies FISA Court opinions that contain significant legal interpretations, or, if declassification is not possible, requires that a summary is provided.
- The Freedom Act requires the FISA Court to designate a panel of “amicus curiae”, or advocates, to represent the public’s interest in cases that involve novel or significant legal issues.
- The Freedom Act increases the maximum penalty for material support to terrorism from fifteen to twenty years.
- The Freedom Act extends the expiration of three Patriot Act provisions—Section 215. Roving wiretaps and the lone wolf surveillance authority—to December 2019.