Niskanen Center Joins Coalition of Privacy Advocates and Nonprofits in Opposition to the Proposed Burr-Feinstein Amendments to the USA FREEDOM Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, the Niskanen Center joined with over 50 privacy advocates, nonprofit organizations, and technology firms and industry groups in a letter of opposition to amendments to the USA FREEDOM Act proposed by Senators Burr and Feinstein.

“Our organization takes pride in standing alongside our coalition partners in opposing the amendments suggested by Senators Burr and Feinstein which, if passed in this Sunday’s special Senate session, would only serve to further weaken the reforms proposed in the USA FREEDOM Act,” said the Niskanen Center’s civil liberties policy analyst, Ryan Hagemann. “We support the act as it is currently drafted, which would end domestic bulk collection of Americans’ telephone metadata, as well as stipulate critical transparency directives to the FISA court process, and permit reasonable terms for private companies to retain user data for limited time periods. USA FREEDOM, despite its flaws, is currently the best path forward for the American people. The Burr-Feinstein amendments, by contrast, would actually expand unnecessary surveillance authority, extend the NSA’s bulk collection programs and repeal Section 215’s sunset provisions, and fails to reform the FISA Court’s opaque and secretive legal process.”

This letter–organized by The Center for Democracy and Technology–was signed by a broad coalition of partners who are dedicated to promoting civil liberties, human rights, a free press, and a vibrant Internet ecosystem. In opposing the Burr-Feinstein amendments, the Niskanen Center supports the USA FREEDOM Act as an important step in renewing America’s commitment to privacy, civil liberties, and freedom more broadly.

The full letter and the list of coalition signers can be found here.