The topic of discussion for this Freedom Friday is the USA Freedom Act that ends the bulk collection of telephone data by the National Security Agency. The bill passed the U.S. Senate with a vote of 67-32 without any amendments and was signed into law by Barack Obama on Tuesday evening.
The USA Freedom Act restored three key sections of the Patriot Act anti-terrorism law that expired on Sunday night at midnight; these sections have been extended through 2019. This new law curbs the power of the NSA, but it does not guarantee that our federal government will respect the Fourth Amendment. Under the new law, private telephone companies will keep records of every call made in the United States, and the government can still obtain the data but will need permission from a federal court to get it. This law was a victory for those seeking to protect privacy rights.