Freedom Act to End NSA Data Collection Coming on Tuesday

Sensenbrenner, Leahy brace for showdown on surveillance

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., right, questions witnesses from the National Security Agency, FBI, Justice Department, and the Office of Director of National Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, July 17, 2013, in Washington, D.C.
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Patriot Act author Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., will likely introduce his bipartisan Freedom Act on Tuesday, which aims to end the NSA's bulk collection of Internet and phone records, and could set off a showdown in Congress between privacy rights and national security needs.

The specific date for the bill to be introduced will be Tuesday, Breitbart News reports.

[READ: Germany Joins Brazil Seeking U.N. Action Against Spying]

"The bill will be introduced sometime next week," says Ben Miller, a spokesperson for Sensenbrenner's office.

Sensenbrenner is preparing to a submit a bill called "The USA Freedom Act" with help from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, D-Mich.

The Freedom Act would end the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' communications records by amending Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Sensenbrenner was the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee when the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, occurred, and was one of the original authors of the Patriot Act.

[READ: Surveillance Creates Rift Between U.S. and Europe]

The bill would also amend Title 4 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and section 702 of FISA to restrict surveillance to authorized international terrorism investigations. A privacy advocate to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would also be created in the bill to argue civil liberties concerns and appeal court decisions. The bill would also require the government to disclose FISC decisions that contain a significant construction or interpretation of the law. It would also increase the ability of Internet and telecom companies to disclose information about government requests.

The House defeated a proposed amendment to the defense appropriations bill by seven votes in July that would have restricted the NSA's collection of phone records and metadata, which portends a heated battle for the Freedom Act.

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