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.
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.