Today, a bipartisan coalition of House members introduced H.R.2399 to prevent the mass collection of records of law-abiding Americans. Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, an original co-sponsor of the bill, called on Congress to take action after learning of the National Security Agency's practice of collecting and retaining millions of innocent Americans' phone records.
Last week, Sinema voiced her concerns about the Administration's apparent overstep in exercising provisions of the Patriot Act. Additionally, Sinema has criticized the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court's (FISC) broad discretionary authority and lack of transparency when enabling the NSA to act.
H.R. 2399 stops the practice of mass collection of innocent Americans' data by applying specific, accountable and transparent means by which the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act shall be implemented. The bill limits collection activity to targeted criteria material to criminal activity. The bill also provides an additional layer of Congressional oversight to ensure transparency of Court's legal interpretations of the Patriot Act.
"We must find the right balance between ensuring security in our nation and protecting the liberty of our citizens," said Sinema. "This bill provides the federal government tools to detect and prevent international criminal activity while protecting Americans' civil liberties by preventing the government from collecting private data from innocent Americans."