GOP bill cuts NSA funding for data collection violations

The three-term Republican said his bill is a reaction to this month’s press reports saying that the NSA overstepped its bounds thousands of times as it collected data on Americans from April 2011 to March 2012. An audit published by The Washington Post reported nearly 2,800 incidents of unauthorized data collection and storage.

{mosads}Fitzpatrick called that report “disturbing” and said it again calls into question the NSA’s activities, which have been heavily criticized since former contractor Edward Snowden revealed the extent of its operations.

“Our worst fears are starting to be realized and I feel that more may be learned in the coming months,” Fitzpatrick said. “The American people deserve to know all of the facts and I urge the President to lead on this issue.”

Fitzpatrick’s bill requires the NSA to have “specific and articulable” facts on people before collecting data on them, and adds a requirement that these facts must be “relevant” and material. His proposal also says collection activities could only pertain to people subject to an investigation, not others, an attempt to stop the NSA’s broad data collection activities on millions of Americans.

These changes would be made to Section 501 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Additionally, the legislation holds that any violation of Section 501 would be met with a decision to withhold all unobligated funds to carry out that section of law until the end of the fiscal year.


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