Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Beware the surveillance reform Trojan horse: what's not in the new NSA laws?

Beware the surveillance reform Trojan horse: what's not in the new NSA laws?

To be sure, neither of the two new proposals would actually “end mass surveillance”, as this National Journal headline proclaimed, or even “end bulk collection” entirely, as most of the other reports suggest. Even the authors know it: the title of the House Intelligence bill was the “End Bulk Collection Act” for just one day before it was changed, perhaps because, as Techdirt’s Mike Masnick wrote, “[Rep Mike] Rogers and his staff realized that … was so bogus that they couldn’t go forward.”

Curiously, a large majority of the House bill focuses on new ways for the government to collect data from “electronic communications service providers” – also known as the internet companies. Why is a bill that’s supposedly about ending bulk collection of phone-call data focused on more collection of data from internet companies?