U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today called on President Obama to accept recommendations made by his "Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology" that have been addressed by legislation she introduced, the Freedoms and Privacy Act of 2013, in November.
"Over 10 years ago, I voted against the USA PATRIOT Act because I believed it would open the door to government overreach. We have now seen that secret, domestic surveillance programs at the National Security Agency have crossed the line," Baldwin said. "My legislation improves transparency, oversight and accountability on National Security Agency domestic surveillance. I am pleased that the Review Group has offered recommendations that address the reforms I have proposed. I am hopeful that the President will accept these recommendations and put in place reforms that help ensure that our counter-terrorism efforts respect the Constitutional civil liberties and freedoms of the American people."
In response to revelations regarding NSA and other U.S. Government overreach in domestic electronic surveillance, in August President Obama established a "Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology".
On December 12, 2013, the Review Group released their report, "Liberty and Security in a Changing World" with 46 recommendations. A number of reforms offered by this report are addressed by Senator Baldwin's Freedoms and Privacy Act of 2013 (S. 1701) including:
Curbing Law Enforcement's Fabrication of Evidence -- law enforcement has fabricated evidence that was initially obtained by the National Security Administration to hide its origins (a process referred to as "parallel construction").
Increasing Transparency and Oversight - requiring regular reports to Congress on NSA activities and information collected under FISA.
Ensuring Surveillance is targeted to Foreign Intelligence and Terrorist Threats -- limiting the government's surveillance to cases where the primary purpose of collecting information is to investigate someone for foreign intelligence purposes, including international terrorism.
The President is expected to announce on Friday the recommendations he will adopt. Senator Baldwin's legislation strengthens transparency, oversight and accountability on National Security Agency domestic surveillance. The Freedoms and Privacy Act of 2013 also protects Americans' right to privacy under the 4th Amendment and improves Constitutional due process procedures in relation to Intelligence Community (IC) and law enforcement information sharing. The Freedoms and Privacy Act of 2013 has earned the support of U.S Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.).