The bill was introduced by several senators including Rand Paul in an effort to reform government surveillance which previously had a loophole that allowed the federal government to collect the contents of communications by American residents.
If signed into law, this ball marks a substantial step forward in the digital privacy rights of American citizens. This article will create a better understanding of the USA Rights Act and the impact that this Act would have on privacy rights.
What The USA Rights Act Does
The USA Rights Act has several benefits for the privacy rights of individuals, which includes:
- An End to Section 702. The USA Rights Act also reforms Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. Section 702 grants the National Security Agency (NSA) the power to gather the communications of foreign individuals who do not reside in the United States. These collections are then placed into a large database which can be accessed by not just the NSA but also many other intelligence agencies without being first required to obtain a warrant. The USA Rights Act, however, would require government agents to first obtain a warrant before searching this database.
- Discontinuation of “About” Searches. The Act ends “about” searches, which is a controversial search method. “About” searches involved the NSA and other government agencies searching for any communications that were “about” a person rather than messages either sent from or to that individual. Even though the NSA previously mentioned that these searches were discontinued, the agency could resume these practices. This Act, however, permanently ends these practices.
- Increased Reporting. There are stricter reporting requirements, which means that there will be more transparency regarding surveillance patterns of the federal government. With more transparency, it will be easier for individuals to firmly establish the boundaries of their privacy rights.
- More Judicial Oversight. Judicial oversight of government surveillance is increased. There is currently a lack of insight in this area and there have been cases of agencies evading questions from courts of law. More specifically, the bill makes it easier for individuals who have their privacy right invaded initiate a lawsuit. The Act also makes sure that individuals are notified when the government uses Section 702 information against them.
- Oversight Powers. Power of overseeing how privacy rights exist is granted to an independent agency, which helps decrease the risk that just one agency will abuse its powers of surveillance and rob individuals of their privacy rights. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will be tasked with investigating all whistleblower complaints that are made through government channels. The Board will also be tasked with reviewing all foreign intelligence activities.
Speak with a Seasoned Privacy Lawyer
Many individuals who have had their privacy rights violated have discovered that attorney Stefan Coleman can be of substantial assistance. The Law Offices of Stefan Coleman have helped many individuals who have faced digital privacy issues. Contact our law office today to make sure that your case resolves in a positive manner.
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