WASHINGTON (May 13, 2015) – The R Street Institute praised today’s bipartisan vote by the U.S House to pass H.R. 2048, the USA FREEDOM Act.

The measure represents an important step toward curbing the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of communications records, with key provisions to end indiscriminate bulk surveillance. It also works toward more transparency and accountability for the FISA courts, the special branch of the court system that approves and monitors surveillance.

“We applaud the House for taking this important first step toward reining in the overreach of surveillance of American citizens,” said Mike Godwin, R Street’s director of innovation policy and general counsel. “The overwhelming bipartisan support in the House should send a clear message to the Senate that voters want Congress to pass strong reforms to America’s surveillance practices.”

Godwin also cautioned that while the legislation represents a good first step, more work will need to be done on the issue.

“More action is needed to compel our government to be more restrained and accountable in its surveillance activities,” Godwin said. “We will continue to argue for limited, effective, accountable government surveillance practices in upcoming debates over updating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and reforming Section 702 of the PATRIOT Act,” he said.


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