Civil liberties groups are — according to the Hill — getting cold feet on the USA Freedom (aka Freedumb) bill. The claim is that the Administration and “members of the House” are working to gut the bill.
“Last stage negotiations” between members of the House and the Obama administration could significantly weaken provisions in the NSA bill, people familiar with the discussions say.
“Behind the scenes, there’s some nervousness,” one House aide said.
But this makes limited sense: a bill, virtually identical in wording, was passed by two committees, the House Judiciary and House Intelligence Committee. So in principle, the bill should come to the floor with that same identical wording.
Except, as I noted, Mike Rogers said he had some “technical changes” to put into place. And unlike the technical changes Zoe Lofgren tried to put into place at HJC (to make clear that Section 215 can’t be used to collect content), Rogers got a vote of the committee to support making those technical changes without further review of the committee. So Mike Rogers has carte blanche to change this bill. Now wonder Jan Schakowsky is worried.
As I suggested, there are two things I think Rogers might want to fix: tweaking the definition of “specific selection term” (or eliminating it altogether) or changing the language on bulk collection to protect some programs that are bulk but thus far unknown.
Which is another way of saying that HJC got screwed in this deal. (Told them!)
We shall see: I’m of the opinion that if Rogers fucks with this the bill must be killed, otherwise Rogers will ruin it in conference.