U.S SENATOR TOM COTTON –
Washington, D.C.— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) will today introduce the Liberty Through Strength Act II, which would stop the Obama administration from deleting all records of terrorist communications and make permanent congressional authorizations for counterterrorism tools that are vital to tracking and stopping attacks on Americans.
“On Sunday our constitutional, legal, and proven NSA collection architecture shifted to an untested, less effective system in the dead of the night. This shift came at a time when our enemies are emboldened and we face an elevated national security threat. Worse, President Obama has decided that he will press delete on the metadata records we currently have, making it impossible to identify terrorist connections among these data that would reveal ISIS and Al Qaeda sleeper cells.”
“The gaps in our intelligence system created by the USA FREEDOM Act leave us less safe and provide us with fewer tools to fight our enemies. No matter what President Obama may think, it’s clear ISIS is not contained and that these gaps must be addressed before they attack us again. The Liberty Through Strength Act II ensures our intelligence community has the tools they need keep us safe.”
Background: In June, the Senate passed the USA FREEDOM ACT, which dramatically altered the NSA metadata collection system. These changes were effective December 1, 2015. The Liberty Through Strength Act II would:
- Require the federal government to hold on to the legacy 215 metadata for five years and authorize its use for queries.
- Makes permanent the USA PATRIOT Act’s “Roving Wiretap” provisions.
- Makes permanent the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act (IRTPA) “Lone Wolf” provisions.
- Makes Title VII of FISA permanent.
- Clarifies the FBI’s authority to obtain electronic communications transactional records (ECTR) under Title 18 of the US Criminal Code.