USA FREEDOM Act Signed Into Law

Published On June 2, 2015 | By Abby Liebeskind | Uncategorized

Having previously passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, the USA FREEDOM Act has now also passed the Senate and been signed into law by President Obama. A few highlights from the legislation are below. Keep an eye out for our analysis to come in a later post.

The USA FREEDOM Act:

  • Prohibits bulk collection of business records under Section 215 (in accordance with the recent Second Circuit decision) and under the FISA pen register/trap and trace provisions by requiring the government to use a “specific selection term”;
  • Prohibits bulk collection under the guise of national security letters (NSLs);
  • Codifies the ability of recipients of FISA orders and NSLs to issue public transparency reports and disclose the quantities of process received within certain defined bands;
  • Establishes a body of five individuals to serve as amicus curiae before the FISA Court for matters presenting a novel or significant interpretation of the law;
  • Requires the Director of National Intelligence to conduct a declassification review of orders issued by the FISA Court which include a significant construction or interpretation of any provision of law, and to make those opinions publicly available to the extent feasible; and
  • Creates additional reporting requirements to increase transparency regarding the use of FISA authorities.

Photo by Kevin Dooley From Flicker

About The Author

Abby’s practice focuses on the legal issues that companies face related to user data and the obligations that arise under ECPA, FISA, the DMCA, and similar foreign laws; she also has experience with child exploitation matters. She frequently advises clients on how to respond to requests for user data or electronic surveillance from domestic and foreign law enforcement, as well as content take-down requests and third party requests in civil litigation. Abby also assists clients as they establish law enforcement compliance programs and transparency reporting.

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