The Bee recently criticized my vote against the so-called USA Freedom Act.
This bill reauthorizes the infamous Patriot Act that was due to expire in two weeks and that unleashed unprecedented warrantless searches of Americans’ personal records. Though slightly improved, it continues to undermine our Fourth Amendment rights:
▪ It orders telephone companies to retain personal data for perusal by the government — not much different from the government’s current practice of seizing and storing that data itself.
▪ It reauthorizes Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act, which the National Security Agency uses to capture the contents of emails, text messages, web browsing histories and other private communications of any American without probable cause or warrant, simply because data from a foreign target may have once flowed through the same server.
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▪ It continues the seizing of “second hop” data. If a suspected al-Qaida sympathizer calls a pizzeria, the phone numbers of everyone who has called that store are subject to the government’s dragnet.
The Bee accused me of not “believ(ing) in personal liberty and the right to privacy.” It is precisely my belief in these values that led me to join our nation’s leading digital-privacy advocates to oppose this bill.
Rep. Tom McClintock, 4th Congressional District