FISA: 215 Collection

DOJ AND ODNI Support Leahy NSA Reform Bill

By Cody M. Poplin
Thursday, September 4, 2014, 4:36 PM

It looks like it's time for Lawfare to update an old post of ours, "Who is Saying What about the Leahy Surveillance Bill."

On September 2, Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper sent a letter to Senator Patrick Leahy endorsing the Senator's version of the USA FREEDOM Act.  Key passages are highlighted below:

The Intelligence Community believes that your bill preserves essential Intelligence Community capabilities: and the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence support your bill and believe that it is a reasonable compromise that enhances privacy and civil liberties and increases transparency.

The letter continues:

The Intelligence Community believes that, based on communications providers' existing practices in retaining metadata, the bill will retain the essential operational capabilities of the existing bulk telephone metadata program while eliminating bulk collection.

On the creation of an amicus curiae to the FISA Court:

We believe that the appontment of an amicus in selected cases, as appropriate, need not interfere with important aspects of the FISA process, including the process of ex parte consultation between the Court and the government.


Overall, the bill's significant reforms should provide the public greater confidence in our programs and the checks and balances in the system.

You can read the full letter here.

You may also find a copy of Senator Leahy's bill here and Lawfare's summary here.