Thursday, November 6, 2014

Surveillance reform takes a post-election hit

The Republican wave that swept Democrats out of the majority in the Senate has taken away at least some of the muscle behind congressional efforts to bring sweeping surveillance reform, reported The National Law Journal.
Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., one of the toughest critics of the National Security Agency, lost his reelection bid to Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. And Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., author of the Senate's USA Freedom Act, a leading proposal to rein in government surveillance, will lose his post as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman in January when the chamber comes under Republican control.
Edward Black, a lawyer who serves as president and chief executive officer of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, said he's bracing for an uphill battle for significant surveillance reform in the next Congress. His association, which represents Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc. and other technology companies, is among the tech and civil liberties groups pushing the Senate to pass Leahy's USA Freedom Act, which is pending in committee.

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