Thomas Massie Sponsors Law To End The PATRIOT Act and FISA


Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) are the House sponsors of the Surveillance State Repeal Act, a bill which would not only end the mass surveillance laws currently on the books (the PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act), but also prevent the federal government from forcing tech companies to build NSA-exploitable flaws into smartphones, tablets, WiFi routers, and other devices. This so-called “back door” issue has become a major political controversy ever since FBI Director James Comey publicly criticized companies like Apple for building high-quality encryption into applications like iMessage. Privacy and security experts are in broad agreement that sound encryption is an essential privacy and online commerce tool, and the bill would prohibit the federal government from forcing companies to make products with defective encryption.

The bill would dramatically strengthen whistleblower protections for federal intelligence agency employees and contractors. This portion of the bill was inspired by the searing experience of former NSA senior official Thomas Drake, who, a decade before Edward Snowden came on the scene, attempted to alert Congressional investigators and the Defense Department’s own inspector general of waste, fraud and abuse. Despite complying with all laws and regulations for reporting such abuse, Drake was wrongfully prosecuted by the Justice Department. The bill would make this kind of retaliation a firing offence.

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Legislators move against mass surveillance | TheHill


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