Here's a little more background info on Feinstein's bill:Democratic Sen. Mark Udall on Thursday voted against National Security Agency reform legislation that prohibits some bulk collection of phone and e-mail records, saying the proposal doesn't go far enough to deliver substantive reform of America's spy agency.
The proposal, carried by Intelligence Committee chair Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, passed 11-4 despite Udall's opposition.
"The NSA's ongoing, invasive surveillance of Americans' private information does not respect our constitutional values and needs fundamental reform — not incidental changes," Udall said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the bill passed by the Senate Intelligence Committee does not go far enough to address the NSA's overreaching domestic surveillance programs." - Denver Post, 11/1/13
Senator Udall wasn't alone in voting against Feinstein's bill. Ron Wyden (D. OR), Tom Coburn (R. OK) and Martin Heinrich (D. NM) also voted against it:Just days after expressing outrage over reports of widespread surveillance of foreign leaders by the National Security Agency, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) pushed through the Senate Intelligence Committee on an 11-4 vote a bill that enshrines the bulk collection of Americans' phone call records into law, and expands the agency's authority to track foreign nationals who enter the United States.
Feinstein's bill effectively transforms into law the NSA's internal policies for the bulk collection of data on who Americans call, when, and for how long. The bill would codify already-existing limits on the use of that database, and expand reporting requirements.
The bill does add some new checks on the NSA's powers: It would expand criminal penalties for the misuse of intelligence capabilities. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees many of the NSA's programs, would also be empowered to appoint a friend-of-the-court lawyer to weigh in when a case presented a "a novel or significant interpretation of the law."
One provision of the bill expands the agency's power, allowing it to continue target the cellphones of "roamers," or foreigners who enter the United States, for up to 72 hours. Such surveillance technically requires a warrant, but an internal audit leaked by Snowden found the agency often disregarded this requirement. - Huffington Post, 10/31/13
Udall and his colleagues aren't the only dissenters:“The NSA’s ongoing, invasive surveillance of Americans’ private information does not respect our constitutional values and needs fundamental reform — not incidental changes. Unfortunately, the bill passed by the Senate Intelligence Committee does not go far enough to address the NSA’s overreaching domestic surveillance programs,” Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) said in a statement.
”More and more Americans are saying that they refuse to give up their constitutionally guaranteed liberties for the appearance of security: the Intelligence committee has passed a bill that ignores this message,” Wyden said. “Unfortunately the bill reported today remains far from anything that could be considered meaningful reform.”
”Collecting the daily telephone activity of millions of innocent Americans — and leaving the door open to collect information about where they are at any given time — is a major intrusion on privacy rights,” Heinrich said. “We need to rein in these surveillance programs and focus on bolstering programs that actually target and prevent terrorism.” - Politico, 10/31/13
If you would like more information, please contact the following Senators for more information:Civil liberties group are suing to end the NSA phone data program, arguing that the Patriot Act never authorized the bulk collection of records on millions of Americans not suspected of any wrongdoing.
They warn that Feinstein's bill would effectively ratify the program, and they worry that it could result in their lawsuits being thrown out.
"This is not reform but an attempt to put a congressional stamp of approval on gross privacy violations," Michelle Richardson, a lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement. "We will fight this bill for what it is—a way to make the worst abuses of the Patriot Act permanent." - The Hill, 10/31/13
Mark Udall (D. CO): (202) 224-5941
Ron Wyden (D. OR): (202) 224-5244
Martin Heinrich (D. NM): (202) 224-6621
Tom Coburn (R. OK): (202) 224-5754
And if you would like to thank Udall, please do consider donating to his 2014 re-election campaign: