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    The introduction of the USA Freedom Act, intended to modify aspects of the US government’s mass collection of its citizen's phone records, is an inadequate improvement on the USA Patriot Act

    US Freedom Act is Inadequate Improvement of Patriot Act – NGO President

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    The introduction of the USA Freedom Act, intended to modify aspects of the US government’s mass collection of its citizen's phone records, is an inadequate improvement of the USA Patriot Act, Jim Babka, president of the Downsize DC Foundation told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Alexander Mosesov — The USA Freedom Act was signed into law by US President Barack Obama on Tuesday as a replacement for the George W. Bush-era Patriot Act, that first allowed mass surveillance of US citizens. The new legislation limits, but has not entirely barred, intelligence agencies from bulk data collection.

    "An improvement? Yes. But significant? No. What bothers me most is that it restarts the bulk collection of phone records, invading my privacy for six more months. If nothing had happened – if no further bill had been passed – that would have been the significant improvement," Babka emphasized.

    In compliance with the new legislation, the US government will halt the collection of phone records of those US citizens who are not suspected of being involved in terrorist activities. Nevertheless, the National Security Agency (NSA) is still permitted to collect targeted information about certain individuals.

    Despite criticism, Obama argued that the law would protect civil liberties, provide additional transparency measures and make US citizens more confident in national security programs.

    In 2013, an illegal mass surveillance program by US intelligence services came under scrutiny after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden posted classified documents online revealing the global extent of US spying practices.

    Related:

    For Better or Worse: US Freedom Act Passed as Replacement to Patriot Act
    Freedom Act Step in Right Direction but Leaves Areas for NSA to Abuse
    USA Freedom Act Reforms Intelligence Courts, Limits NSA Data Collection
    Tags:
    USA Freedom Act, Patriot Act, Downsize DC Foundation, Jim Babka, United States
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