Civil liberty advocates and libertarians of USA had a historic moment when US Senate has passed the law with 67-32 vote on Tuesday and Barack Obama, President of America had signed into law where National Security Agency lost the authority to conduct surveillance on the phone conversations of millions of citizens. This new reform bill was signed by President Obama on Tuesday evening. After the US Patriot Act this USA freedom Act is in operation. Mass global surveillance by NSA was started post 9/11 and it had expired on Sunday and there were many attempts by Republican Senator Rand Paul to slab it.
USA Freedom Act (USAFA) has been the first main reform that has happened to NSA’s mass surveillance for global communication. This was effected when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden who was a whistle-blower, had stated to the world in 2013 about the amount of spying work. Many of them wanted further reform in the bill but they have said that foreigners were not touched under the reform bill. When Patriot Act had expired it had brought an end to NSA’s pursuit to collection of the phone metadata which related to American citizens wherein the Section 125 of the said Act had a provision about the information about who called whom and when could be known but the main content of the phone call was not known. When NSA identifies some person or group of persons who are involved in terror activities or terror relation then with a warrant from Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court authorities can access any information about them. Mr Obama, when bill was passed congratulated the Republican supporters and said that to safeguard the privacy and civil liberties of USA citizens and NSA has a tool to keep them safe and the passing of the reform bill is a welcome from his side and that he would sign it as soon as it reach his table. Obama took a shot at those who had held the bill after welcoming the bill’s passage. Final passage of this reform bill was under question till Tuesday where Senate had successfully passed it. Earlier a year back, congress had not passed the similar reforms.
by Sushma Javare.