Legislation introduced into the House of Representatives Tuesday is designed to abolish the draconian PATRIOT Act and restore protections under the Constitution that have been violated, according to its authors.
The bill, dubbed The Surveillance State Repeal Act, H.R. 1466 [PDF], would also prohibit US spooks from plating backdoors into technology, as well as provide extended protections for whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden.
“The Patriot Act contains many provisions that violate the Fourth Amendment and have led to a dramatic expansion of our domestic surveillance state,” said Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY), who co-authored the legislation with Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI).
“Our Founding Fathers fought and died to stop the kind of warrantless spying and searches that the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act authorize. It is long past time to repeal the Patriot Act and reassert the constitutional rights of all Americans.” Massie noted.
In addition to repealing the PATRIOT ACT, passed three days after the 9/11 attacks, the legislation would also abolish the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, which the NSA has largely used to claim it’s mass spying program is legal.
H.R. 1466 states that any future snooping involving American citizens would be subject to strict oversight and require warrants in all cases, as well as probable cause.
“The warrantless collection of millions of personal communications from innocent Americans is a direct violation of our constitutional right to privacy,” said Congressman Pocan.
“Revelations about the NSA’s programs reveal the extraordinary extent to which the program has invaded Americans’ privacy. I reject the notion that we must sacrifice liberty for security- we can live in a secure nation which also upholds a strong commitment to civil liberties.” Pocan added.
The legislation would also prohibit the government from forcing tech companies to install backdoors in their products to enable NSA surveillance. Law enforcement lobbying groups have been pushing for this for sometime, while security experts and those within the tech sector say it would be disastrous.
The new legislation would also provide for an independent controller to receive complaints from whistleblowers, and to protect them by reporting any valid information to Congress on their behalf.
Unfortunately, the bill stands very little chance of passing, given that so many bought and paid for representatives in Congress largely support the unconstitutional PATRIOT act and do not wish to rock the surveillance state boat.
All those who support freedom from government snooping should be encouraged to express their support for this legislation. Representatives can be identified and contacted here.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.