You’ll hear a lot of talk this morning that a bill being introduced by U.S. senators Ron Wyden and Rand Paul is the “most comprehensive” legislation to address the unconstitutional abuses of the National Security Agency’s military spying operations against people in the United States. Journalists are repeating these claims because they were made by Senator Wyden – and because they have been too lazy to actually compare the different items of legislation that have actually been introduced this summer.
The most comprehensive legislation to address the NSA Big Brother spying scandal so far was introduced back on July 24 by U.S. Representative Rush Holt. H.R. 2818, the Surveillance State Repeal Act, would repeal the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act, completely eliminating any legal justification for the electronic spying dragnet grabbing billions of pieces of information about Americans’ telephone calls and private use of the Internet.
The draft bill revealed yesterday – but not yet introduced in the U.S. Senate – falls far below the standard set by the Surveillance State Repeal Act. The Wyden-Paul draft legislation would only create piecemeal reforms at the NSA and create yet another paper watchdog. All of the provisions of the Wyden-Paul draft legislation could be easily circumvented by the NSA, which has already proven its willingness to break the rules in order to spy against Americans.
Any bill that falls short of repealing the Patriot Act and FISA Amendments Act will fail to stop the unconstitutional spying against Americans that continues to be conducted by the NSA on a daily basis.