Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced a new version of the USA Freedom Act on Tuesday, a bill intended to protect Americans’ phone records and other personal information. The original bill was passed by the House in May.
As a result of the fallout from former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden’s release of confidential information and revelations regarding NSA policy, President Barack Obama asked Congress in January to curb the massive data collection policies in place by the NSA.
The House bill passed in May, while effective in addressing these concerns, was criticized by many as being too vague and lenient, which led to Leahy’s aggressive changes. One of the main concerns voiced by detractors of the House’s bill was the vague definition of “specific selection term,” which could potentially lead to mass information gathering based on broad characteristics such as geographic location.