More than a year after the Snowden revelations, we’re clearly still grappling with the effects of NSA surveillance.
As Congress prepares for the August recess, Sen. Patrick Leahy has just introduced a new version of the USA FREEDOM Act, which aims to curb the NSA’s bulk collection and surveillance powers. Calls for immediate, serious reforms are growing louder by the day as new evidence continues to emerge about how much NSA surveillance is costing us—in terms of both the economy and our cybersecurity.
Intelligence and Obama administration officials have vigorously defended the NSA programs over the past year. But they have offered little hard evidence to prove the value of mass surveillance and other far-reaching NSA activity. Both the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) issued extensive reports that call into question whether the benefits of the NSA’s bulk collection program carried out under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act are enough to justify the tradeoffs.