The US senate has introduced the USA Freedom Act 2014, a legislative response to the current bulk data collection practices in the country.
Senator Patrick Leahy introduced the revised Act yesterday, and has won the immediate, but conditional support of organisations from Microsoft to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
"If enacted, this bill would represent the most significant reform of government surveillance authorities since Congress passed the USA Patriot Act 13 years ago," Leahy said in a statement.
"This is an historic opportunity, and I am grateful that the bill has the support of the administration, a wide range of privacy and civil liberties groups, and the technology industry."
While this is a bold update, Leahy said that more changes need to be made, adding that "strong limits" are needed for government surveillance powers.
His work so far was welcomed by long term corporate campaigner Brad Smith of Microsoft.
"I would like to thank Senators Leahy, Lee, Heller and Franken for their efforts to bring meaningful reform to government surveillance. By establishing a panel of advocates to argue before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and requiring it to issue statements about its decisions, the Senate bill strengthens our privacy rights and civil liberties," said Smith, Microsoft general counsel and executive vice president.
"We're also pleased that the bill bans the bulk collection of data and allows companies to be more transparent about requests we receive from the government."
Also pleased is the EFF, though it still has some issues about the regulatory regime. Despite this it recommended that Congress back the updated Act and let it pass without weakening it.
"The USA Freedom Act of 2014 is a real first step because it creates meaningful change to NSA surveillance right now, while paving the way for the public to get more information about what the NSA is doing," it said.
"We believe that this legislation will help ensure that the NSA reform conversation in Congress continues, rather than shutting it down. That's why we urge Congress to support the Senate version of USA Freedom and pass it without any changes that will weaken its provisions."
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