Here's a statement from Massachusetts congresswoman Katherine Clark, who had originally signed on as a co-sponsor of the USA FREEDOM Act, back when it meant meaningful NSA reform.
Today, Congresswoman Katherine Clark opposed the USA Freedom Act, the NSA “reform” bill that was changed at the last minute to gut key data collection prohibitions.
Clark co-sponsored the original bill because it clearly ended the bulk collection of private data. The final version was amended to severely compromise key elements of the bill and allows the NSA to continue mass collection of private data. The last minute changes in the legislation have drawn criticism from civil liberties and privacy groups because the amended bill does not achieve its original intent. Clark released the following statement:
“American citizens should not have to worry about their own government spying on them. We had an opportunity – and a responsibility – to protect Americans’ privacy from the aggressive overreach of government agencies. While the bill moves in the right direction, the last minute amendments failed to end the bulk collection of private data.
“I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to achieve greater congressional oversight and transparency regarding these practices. We must ensure security without compromising our core constitutional liberties.”