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Senate Approves USA Freedom Act

The Senate has approved the USA Freedom Act. Already passed by the House, it will now go to President Obama for signing.

The USA Freedom Act, a bill that would end the National Security Agency’s practice of collecting troves of call data from telephone companies, passed on a 67 to 32 vote. It would instead mandate a six-month transition to a system in which the data would remain in private hands but could be searched on a case-by-case basis under a court order.

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Obama Addresses NSA Surveillance Issues

President Obama held a press conference today on NSA surveillance and released two documents concerning the program. They are combined here:

  • Pages 1 to 23: A legal memorandum explaining the Government’s legal basis for an intelligence collection program under which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) obtains court orders directing certain telecommunications service providers to produce telephony metadata in bulk.
  • Pages 24 to 30: NSA on Legal Authorities: a seven-page document describing the legal authorities that the agency uses as the basis for its spying, the controls that are in place to limit the surveillance and a brief description of what guides the agency’s use of what they call signals intelligence.

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