USA Passes Freedom Act… But Where is the Freedom?

Court HouseThe United States government just passed the Freedom Act. It is championed a bill full of liberty and freedom.  However it is nothing of the sort.

Proponents of the Freedom Act brag about how it ends mass surveillance and metadata. Metadata is data about other data. For example, if the government is collecting metadata on a phone call, it is not recording the conversation, but who the phone call was to, and the duration of it.

The Freedom Act does not end the collection of metadata, it simply shifts the burden of collecting and storing metadata from the NSA to phone companies. Now instead of having the USA government spying on American citizens, there will be private companies doing it.

If anything, this is even worse for freedom and liberty. When the government collects personal information, it does it under the pretense that it is protecting it’s citizens. When a private enterprise does it, it is done in order to make a profit. Companies like Google and Facebook collect our data and use it for advertising purposes. There is no reason to think that US telecom companies won’t do the same with the data Washington is forcing them to collect.

Section 215 of the Freedom Act states that the “NSA can obtain information about targeted individuals with permission from a federal court.” However private companies are not limited from willingly handing over custom data without being shown a warrant.

When it comes down to it the Freedom Act does not stop the collection of metadata. It simply shifts the burden from one party to another. The fight against this bulk data collection will have to continue. However it will not come easy when the opponents are named Freedom and Patriot.

Does the Freedom Act increase liberty in the USA?

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Shayne Thiessen

Shayne Thiessen

Shayne is enrolled in Business Information Technologies at Red River College in Winnipeg Manitoba. He has a passion for politics, photography and technology. Born and raised in a small farming community, Shayne believes in small government and personal liberty.

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