14:32 GMT +306 December 2019
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    US Lawmakers Release Bill Limiting Illegal Mass Surveillance

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    The Surveillance State Repeal Act was revealed on Tuesday by Reps. Thomas Massie and Mark Pocan, which is directed at abolishing the infamous 2001 Patriot Act that facilitates broad surveillance and detainment of US citizens in an attempt to fight terrorism.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US lawmakers have released the Surveillance State Repeal Act, intended to limit illegal mass surveillance activities in the country.

    The bill envisages the necessity of obtaining warrants to collect data on the communications of US citizens, restraints on mass surveillance by national security agencies and the prohibition of surveillance-enabling software and hardware requirements on technology companies.

    "We need to repeal all of this junk and just start over," Massie, a Republican, said at a Capitol Hill briefing, according to local media.

    "This isn't just tinkering around the edges," Pocan, a Democrat, added.

    Massie added that the Surveillance State Repeal Act provided for increased protection for whistleblowers.

    The bill could face resistance, as less strict bills aimed at the Patriot Act have been struggling to garner enough votes in recent years to move forward.

    The Patriot Act was signed into law by George W. Bush. A number of its provisions expire in June. In late February, US authorities reauthorized a telephone metadata collection program until June 1.

    The arguably illegal mass surveillance practices were revealed publicly by whistleblower Edward Snowden, a former contractor with the US National Security Agency (NSA). His revelations triggered controversy around the world and inspired him to flee the United States and seek asylum in Russia.


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