On 13 May, the US House of Representatives passed the latest version of the USA Freedom Act – the most prominent piece of legislation to have been introduced in the US in the wake of the Snowden revelations. The bill has had a long and complicated legislative history that we have traced over the past two years and it still needs to be approved by the Senate. If passed it would end the bulk collection of domestic phone metadata that was the subject of the very first Snowden revelation.
In January 2014, the Civil Liberties (LIBE) Committee of the European Parliament voted to invite Edward Snowden to testify to its long running inquiry on electronic mass surveillance. Snowden’s testimony has now been published. Unlike Snowden’s previous brief statement to the inquiry, this new evidence includes answers to specific questions posed by members of the LIBE Committee.
In his evidence, Snowden reiterates that he is limiting his comments to topics that have already been reported on. He also repeats hs “willingness to provide testimony to the United States Congress, should they decide to consider the issue of unconstitutional mass surveillance.”
Exactly one week after President Barack Obama’s speech on US signals intelligence, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden conducted his first live chat since June 2013 on this website. The #AskSnowden hashtag was trending in the US as people put their questions to Snowden on twitter and the event attracted media coverage worldwide.
This 2007 US Department of Justice memo argues that analysis of US metadata is “consistent with” the Fourth Amendment, FISA and the electronic surveillance provisions of the United States Code [the Code of Laws of the United States of America] because the data is already in the NSA’s databases: see the Guardian article NSA collected US email records in bulk for more than two years under Obama, 27 June 2013.