Today, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced the USA Freedom Act, whose main purpose is to end bulk collection of Americans’ phone records under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.

“Ending bulk collection is the most critical privacy reform Congress needs to make, but it’s not the only one,” said Berin Szoka, President of TechFreedom. “The USA Freedom Act isn’t perfect, but it is an important first step in correcting the wild imbalance between privacy and security.”

“It’s unfortunate that the bill stops short of creating a public advocate able to intervene in all Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) cases. But letting the FISC decide whether to allow pre-vetted amici to defend the public would be a huge improvement over today’s secretive Star Chamber.”

Besides ending bulk collection, the bill makes key reforms to the processes of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, declassifies all significant FISC opinions, allows greater transparency on the scale of surveillance.