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Spying Reports Give Momentum to ECPA Reforms, Spur Legal Actions

SURVEILLANCE—EU & U.S.

July 8, 2013

Revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance of domestic and foreign communications should add momentum to the already politically charged atmosphere surrounding updates to the U.S. Electronic Communications Privacy Act—and on both sides of the aisle, Politico reports. Already, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has co-sponsored a reform bill, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has pledged to make the issue a priority. In the UK, lawyers for Privacy International have filed legal papers calling for an immediate suspension of Britain’s use of material from the NSA’s PRISM program, and in the U.S., The New York Times reports on EPIC’s plans to file an emergency petition with the Supreme Court today asking that it stop the NSA’s surveillance program altogether. The Hill discusses “five unanswered questions about the NSA’s surveillance programs,” including the scope of the programs, additional data being collected under the USA PATRIOT Act and other programs the public may not be aware of, and The Guardian reports on the NSA’s bumpy ride at a recruitment drive on a U.S. college campus last week.
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