Given that surprising new allegations of National Security Agency spying seem to pop up every day, a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers has now decided that it might be a good idea to rein in America’s intelligence gathering behemoth. The Hill reports that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) have collaborated on new legislation that would end the NSA’s bulk phone metadata collection program, would beef up barriers against targeting Americans for surveillance and would require the government to delete any data inadvertently scooped up from Americans who aren’t related to investigations during data mining operations.
Sensenbrenner’s endorsement of these measures is particularly notable because he was the author of the 2001 Patriot Act that bolstered many of the NSA’s data collection powers.
“Somewhere along the way, the balance between security and privacy was lost,” Sensenbrenner said in a statement explaining his support for reforming the NSA. “It’s now time for the Judiciary committees to again come together in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the law is properly interpreted, past abuses are not repeated and American liberties are protected.”