45 Groups: USA Freedom Act a First Step for Surveillance Reform

OpenTheGovernment.org and dozens of civil society organizations joined the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) in a letter to members of Congress urging the passage of the USA Freedom Act (S. 2685) and outlining necessary reforms that go beyond the current legislation. Among other reforms, the bill would mandate the disclosure of "significant" FISA Court decisions, and allow disclosure about surveillance orders from public and private sectors.

To further improve transparency of surveillance programs, the groups recommend Congress pass additional legislation requiring the government to disclose to Congress all interpretations of surveillance authorities, including Office of Legal Counsel memos, and strengthening protections for intelligence whistleblowers.

The letter is available here.