- Influencer body-shames model, Photoshops photo of self to ‘prove point’ Tuesday 7:27 PM
- Boosie Badazz goes on transphobic rant about Dwyane Wade’s daughter Tuesday 6:34 PM
- Royal Family’s website accidentally links to porn instead of charity Tuesday 5:39 PM
- Republican senator spreads false conspiracy about coronavirus Tuesday 5:11 PM
- New DNA technology could help exonerate Black man serving life sentence Tuesday 4:24 PM
- ‘SNL’s’ Kenan Thompson to host the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Tuesday 3:58 PM
- Singer Summer Walker dragged for insensitive HIV comments Tuesday 2:39 PM
- This video of a teddy bear getting steam cleaned makes a perfect meme Tuesday 2:27 PM
- Ted Cruz goes on Twitter tirade over proposed vasectomy bill Tuesday 2:22 PM
- Billie Eilish says she’s stopped reading Instagram comments Tuesday 2:13 PM
- Christian group blames satanists for Twitter poll results Tuesday 1:41 PM
- Coronavirus has pandemic-themed video games topping charts Tuesday 12:58 PM
- Bloomberg said kids are drawn to socialism because they think it involves social media Tuesday 12:55 PM
- Jake Paul gives ill-informed advice on how to deal with anxiety Tuesday 12:25 PM
- ‘Save Yourselves!’ is a charming and humorous take on the alien invasion movie Tuesday 11:53 AM
Patriot Act author wants your help keeping NSA out of Patriot Act
He didn’t want your help in 2001. But he’s asking for it now.
It’s not often that a congressman behind one of the most controversial bills in decades lets you go online and try to undo it, years later.
But Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), who authored the Patriot Act in 2001—which provided the National Security Agency’s legal justification to collect Americans’ phone records in bulk without a warrant, or their knowledge—is doing just that.
Sensenbrenner occupies a unique, ironic place in history. His Patriot Act was enormously popular in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, receiving only a single negative vote one it got to the Senate. But that was a different time, a dozen years before an NSA contractor named Edward Snowden would grow outraged at the breadth of the agency’s spy practices and leak classified agency documents, en masse, to a handful of journalists, which in turn inspired strong disapproval from American citizens. Now, Sensenbrenner stands poised to be the author of the first bill to temper the NSA that could actually pass the House.
An earlier amendment bill to end that program, by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) came within twelve votes of passing the House. Sensenbrenner’s bill, which Amash supports, already has enough support from representatives who regret voting against Amash’s to pass the House.
But the USA Freedom Act isn’t finalized yet, and that’s where you come in.
You can amble to over to Madison, a site designed by the nonprofit OpenGov to let anyone who signs up add comments to any bill that any member of congress deems worth posting. Sensenbrenner’s staff posted the USA Freedom Act up there Tuesday, and OpenGov has already peppered it with footnotes, like justifications for certain wording based on Senate Committee hearings.
Sensenbrenner’s bill already has a wide range of support, ranging from Internet freedom advocacy organizations like the EFF and Electronic Privacy Information Center to lobbyists with decidedly different aims, like the National Rifle Association.
Photo by Leader Nancy Pelosi/Flickr
A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.