R Street encourages Senate to advance NSA reform
WASHINGTON (Nov. 18, 2014) — The R Street Institute encourages the Senate to quickly pass S.2685, the USA FREEDOM Act. This legislation offers a balanced approach to rein in the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program.
As a recent Pew study showed, revelations surrounding NSA surveillance have led to a massive erosion of global trust in the U.S. government’s protection for personal freedoms and privacy.
This has had financial consequences for the U.S. technology sector, which has had to deal with questions about its perceived vulnerability and insecurity. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., noted these concerns threaten “their competitive edge in the global marketplace.” A recent R Street Institute report showed how this could cost the U.S. economy dearly, with projected direct costs “between $35 billion and $180 billion over the next three years.”
Passing the USA FREEDOM Act would go a long way toward alleviating many of the concerns surrounding the future success of American industry, domestically and abroad.
“While there are aspects of surveillance reform not immediately addressed in this legislation, passage of the USA FREEDOM Act is a requisite first step to advance the conversation for more extensive reform,” R Street Policy Analyst Nathan Leamer said.
A bipartisan coalition of legislators, tech companies, and privacy supporters have worked in collaboration on this reform, with input from the administration and the intelligence community, culminating in a letter of support from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder.
“We hope legislators will put aside partisan posturing and take the lead in good governing,” Leamer added. “By taking this first step to restore trust in American innovation, we can maintain essential national security capabilities while restoring faith in personal freedom.”