Surveillance State Repeal Act: repealing the PATRIOT Act and some of FISA

Rush Holt (D-NJ) has introduced a bill called the "Surveillance State Repeal Act" that repeals the PATRIOT Act and much of FISA (though it leaves some pretty terrible parts of FISA intact). It's only 8 pages long, but it has the potential to do a lot of good.

The Surveillance State Repeal Act would:

1. Repeal the PATRIOT Act (which contains the telephone metadata harvesting provision).

2. Repeal the FISA Amendments Act (which contains the email harvesting provision).

3. Ensure that any FISA collection against a US Person takes place only pursuant to a valid warrant based on probable cause (which was the original FISA standard from 1978 to 2001).

4. Retain the ability for government surveillance capabilities to be targeted against a specific natural person, regardless of the type of communications method(s) or device(s) being used by the subject of the surveillance.

5. Retains provisions in current law dealing with the acquisition of intelligence information involving weapons of mass destruction from entities not composed primarily of U.S. Persons.

6. Prohibit the government from mandating that electronic device or software manufacturers build in so-called “back doors” to allow the government to bypass encryption or other privacy technology built into said hardware and/or software.

7. Increase the terms of judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) from seven to ten years and allow their reappointment.

8. Mandate that the FISC utilize technologically competent Special Masters (technical and legal experts) to help determine the veracity of government claims about privacy, minimization and collection capabilities employed by the US government in FISA applications.

9. Mandate that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) regularly monitor such domestic surveillance programs for compliance with the law, including responding to Member requests for investigations and whistleblower complaints of wrongdoing.

Rep. Rush Holt Bill To Repeal PATRIOT And FISA Amendments Acts Now Live, Ambitious

(Image: the future will judge us, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from figgenhoffer's photostream)