U.S. Representative

Dennis A. Ross

Proudly Serving Florida's 15th Congressional District

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Ross Introduces Relevancy Act to Protect Americans’ Freedom from Mass FBI Probes

Requires FBI to Prove Relevancy When Requesting Records on behalf of the NSA and Eliminates Mass Non-Discriminatory Data Collection Like that of All Verizon Phone Records

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WASHINGTON, Jun 28, 2013 | Katie Hughes | comments
U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross (FL-15) introduced H.R. 2603, The Relevancy Act, which would require an FBI investigation to be of a specific person or group of persons, and it requires the tangible things sought and collected by the NSA to be related to a person that is subject to an investigation. This bill prevents the FBI from seeking a secret order requiring companies like Verizon to turn over all of its caller data to the NSA.

“The law requires that the records be relevant to the investigation. Conducting mass surveillance on all records from every Verizon subscriber goes far beyond the scope of the law and is an invasion of our freedoms and privacy,” said Ross. “This bill provides a starting point to make essential reforms. I look forward to working with the committee to ensure that we as a country keep our citizens safe from terrorist attacks while protecting our personal freedoms.”


Background:
  • In general, under the Business Records Section of the PATRIOT Act, the FBI may seek an order on behalf of the NSA for any tangible thing for an investigation to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a United States person or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities. Tangible things may include books, records, papers, documents, and other items.
  • The Relevancy Act would narrow that in 2 ways: It would require the investigation to be of a specific person or group of persons, and it requires the tangible things to be related to a person that is subject to an investigation.


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