Just by reading the name, the average American would believe that a new bill being crafted by the Obama administration to end NSA data collection, or a simultaneous effort being pushed through the House Intelligence Committee by Rep. Mike Rogers would lead to the end of data collection on hundreds of millions of Americans. After all, these bills with names like “End Bulk Collection Act” sound like they will free the American people from NSA spying.
Newspaper, television and internet story headlines read “ White House plan would end NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone data”. Sounds like the NSA spying program is coming to an end.
Not so, says Michigan Congressman Justin Amash who voted against the House version of the “End Bulk Collection” bill. Amash, a Republican two term Congressman, was a guest on the Ben Swann Radio Show Wednesday. He says the bill sounds like it will lead to the end of data collection but when you get into the details, the bill could actually expand collection.
“It actually expands the scope of collection, of unconstitutional collection. It is called the “End Bulk Collection Act.” It is like we are in some dystopian future where government calls a bill something that has the opposite affect of what title is.” says Rep. Amash.
The major point brought up by the Congressman is that despite the name “End Bulk Collection”, the bill does not to end collection of data, rather it shifts the responsibility of collection from the NSA to private phone companies.
“They are going to transfer where the phone data is collected so that it is not stored by the government but it is instead stored by the phone companies. Where it is stored is not really the main problem.”
Congressman Amash goes on to say that by correcting “who” is storing the information does not to resolve the constitutionality of bulk collection of data.
“The problem is the unconstitutional search and seizure of people’s information. Even if it is stored about the phone companies, the phone companies are now acting as agents of the government and provide the government even more information than they have today. That doesn’t put us in a better position, it puts us in a worse position.”
So how is it that the American public has no clue that the “End Bulk Collection Act” or the President’s new proposal would actually increase bulk collection? Rep. Amash says you can blame that, in part, on a complacent media.
“Last night I saw all these headlines about how the President and the Intelligence Committee were going to end the bulk collection of data as though they are resolving the problem. But the fact is they are not resolving the problem. I would love to hear more about the President’s plan, maybe there are some good points to it. But overall, when you look at the two proposals either from the President or from the Intelligence Committee, they sound like they’re not moving us in the right direction and they are not doing what the American people want which is to protect their privacy under the 4th amendment.”