Much of NSA bulk surveillance as you’ve known it may soon end, as The Washington Post reports (Daines mentioned). Plus, not just a ‘big city’ issue, as Montana puts limits on police militarization according to Watchdog.org. And, this report could change the Freddie Gray narrative.
The Washington Post: Much of NSA bulk surveillance as you’ve known it may soon end
Don’t look now, but much of the National Security Agency bulk metadata collection that stirred so much controversy in the wake of the Edwards Snowden revelations might — just might — be about to come to an end. While civil libertarians still worry about various aspects of the program continuing, this would be no small achievement.
Yesterday a bipartisan group of Senators — led by Republican Mike Lee and Democrat Patrick Leahy — introduced the U.S.A. Freedom Act, a measure that would put an end to the NSA’s bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Things could go wrong from here on out, but it’s a possibility that something like this is going to end up becoming law soon enough — meaning the left-right alliance that has come together against bulk surveillance just might win a partial victory.
If it does become clear that clean re-authorization can’t pass, GOP aides believe, the alternatives will then be to pass nothing — which causes all of Section 215 to sunset — or pass some version of the U.S.A. Freedom Act. Its list of co-sponsors is pretty strong: It includes Lee and Cruz and Leahy, and Republicans Dean Heller and Steve Daines, and Democrats Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer. A companion version of the bill has been introduced in the House, where we’ve already seen that there is a left-right alliance against bulk surveillance. A good showing in the House — and this bill is supported by Republicans like James Sensenbrenner and Bob Goodlatte — might help get this passed in the Senate.
Accountability within state and local police forces has emerged as a concern shared across the country, whether in big metropolitan cities like Baltimore, Md., or small rural towns that dot Montana.
Following Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s recent string of vetoes on tax cuts, gun rights, and digital privacy bills, his signing of a bill that would limit what surplus military equipment state and local police can take from the Pentagon was an unexpected move, even for the bill’s main sponsor.
The new law is only the second in the nation to curtail the militarization of state, county and local law enforcement agencies. New Jersey passed the first such bill in March, but Montana took the matter “to the next level,” according to Mike Maharrey of the Tenth Amendment Center. “It closes loopholes and covers almost all the bases. The next step would be to expand the equipment banned, and we’re hopeful that good people in Montana will work on that next session.”
The Daily Caller: This Report Could Change The Freddie Gray Narrative
Freddie Gray was “banging against the walls” of a police van he was placed in and seemed to be “intentionally trying to injure himself” after his arrest earlier this month, another arrestee riding in the vehicle told investigators, according to a new and potentially game-changing investigative document.
Gray, 25, was arrested on April 12 following a police foot chase. Officers recovered a pocket knife. After a 30-minute ride in the police van, Gray, who is black, was found unconscious. He was transported to the hospital and was found to have suffered a spinal injury of unknown origin. He died a week later.
Looting and rioting have erupted in recent days as police have provided little information about the investigation into Gray’s death.