Thanks To Bill Nelson, Even Watered-Down NSA Reform Won’t Take Place
Yes, it’s true that the George W. Bush and Barack Obama oversaw a massive spying program through the National Security Agency, seizing huge numbers of private communications involving Americans who are suspected of no crime whatsoever, but that’s all been reformed since then, right?
In response to the revelations of Edward Snowden that the NSA is engaged in widespread electronic surveillance against Americans as they use the Internet and cellular data networks, President Barack Obama proposed a set of extremely weak reforms that would have allowed the NSA spying program against Americans to continue. These weak reforms were codified in a piece of proposed legislation called the the USA Freedom Act.
The USA Freedom Act was passed by the House of Representatives back in May, but as all good citizens know, passage of legislation in just one house of Congress isn’t sufficient for a bill to become a law. Legislation needs to be passed by the Senate and House, and then be approved by the President – unless a veto-proof majority in Congress is secured.
Yesterday, the USA Freedom Act was finally considered in the Senate, but was blocked by 42 senators who thought that even this watered-down set of reforms was too much. That group was mostly Republican, but included one Democrat – Senator Bill Nelson.
Thanks to Bill Nelson, the U.S. government is going to keep on spying on Americans’ electronic communications – without reform.