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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dennis Ross wants to permanently restrict NSA data gathering



A move to stop the National Security Agency from data gathering failed in a close vote yesterday but Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, wants to try again.

Ross wrote a letter to House Speaker John Boehner urging consideration of his bill that would permanently curtail the NSA from blanket gathering of "metadata."

A vote yesterday made for odd alliances between liberals and conservative-libertarian members. But the amendment failed.

"I write today to encourage you to take action on my bill, H.R. 2603, as soon as possible. As you know, yesterday, more than 200 of our colleagues expressed serious concerns about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) current metadata collection program during consideration of amendments offered to the Department of Defense (DOD) Appropriations Act of 2014. While I supported these amendments, I also believe that the best solution to protect the interests of Americans from an overreach by the NSA is to move forward through a regular legislative process, rather than needing to legislate through a Department of Defense funding bill one year at a time."

Writes Ross, "My bill would focus the scope of metadata collection in two ways.  First, it would require the investigation to be of a specific person or group of persons.  Second, the Relevancy Act requires the tangible things sought to be related to a person that is subject to an investigation.

"It is time to give Members the opportunity to move forward on protecting the civil liberties of American citizens.  I believe we can do that while also keeping our country safe from terrorist attacks though targeting legislation like H.R. 2603.

[Last modified: Thursday, July 25, 2013 2:33pm]


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