May 16, 2014 / by emptywheel


Mike Rogers: Still Working on His Technical Changes

According to the HPSCI Report on HR 3361 — which reformers refer to as the USA Freedom Act — Mike Rogers is still changing the fine print.

Members of the Committee will continue to work to make a number of important technical changes to ensure the preservation of operational equities before the full House considers the bill. These technical changes will ensure that the bill does not inadvertently disrupt important intelligence operations.


Chairman Rogers offered an amendment to revise the emergency authority of Section 102, add Section 604, and make other technical changes. The amendment was agreed to by a voice vote.

Given Rogers’ assurances that the bill before us changes no other programs, I’m going to guess that there are actually a few other bulk collection programs that would, under the plain meaning of the bill, be prohibited (bulk collection, even as the Intelligence Community defines it, which means there are no discriminators). Given that Rogers was trying to remove the definition of selection term, I suspect that’s the rub: they think they can still do these bulk collections under the law, but need to tweak the definition of specific selection term (remember, the HPSCI bill originally used “specific identifiers or selection terms”). 

Ah well, I’m sure we should all trust Mike Rogers. What could go wrong?

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