White House Strongly Backs USA Freedom Act

The White House Wednesday came out strongly in favor of the USA Freedom Act (H.R. 3361), which is intended to effectively end the bulk collection of data by NSA and other intelligence agencies, as well as boost transparency and reporting requirements for targeted data requests, require more specificity in those requests, and minimize retention and dissemination of nonpublic data.

"The bill ensures our intelligence and law enforcement professionals have the authorities they need to protect the Nation, while further ensuring that individuals’ privacy is appropriately protected when these authorities are employed," said the executive office of the President in a statement. "Overall, the bill’s significant reforms would provide the public greater confidence in our programs and the checks and balances in the system. The Administration supports swift House passage of the USA FREEDOM Act, and urges the Senate to follow suit."

The bill was authored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), with 152 co-sponsors.

The rules on debating and amending the bill were agreed to in the House rules committee Tuesday, teeing it up for consideration by the full House this week, but that framework for debate was being debated on the floor at press time. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) was talking about the bill, expressing his support for the underlying legislation but was concerned about his amendment.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.