With the passage of the USA FREEDOM Act, mainstream media outlets and even some “privacy advocates” are hailing the passage of the bill as a welcome step forward and a sign of defeat for the USA PATRIOT Act, the bill that was itself passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and widely representative of the United States’ rapid descent into outright police state tyranny.
Unfortunately, however, the passage of the FREEDOM Act is no victory for freedom. In fact, is an insultingly sound nail in freedom’s coffin.
The bill, which has been promoted and supported by many of the same members of Congress that supported the PATRIOT Act (notably, James Sensenbrenner) now comes on the heels of a 2nd US Circuit Court decision that bulk telecommunications data collection was not authorized by the PATRIOT Act, unconstitutional, and therefore an illegal act.
To be sure, the FREEDOM Act has been in the works for passage since 2013 when lawmakers began pushing it. At the time, the bill attempted to actually extend the PATRIOT Act provisions through the end of 2017 as well as maintain a number of violations of civil liberties and privacy concerns.
The new version of the FREEDOM Act is no better, except perhaps in the language being used to promote it.