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Created Feb 5, 2014

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Cedric Richmond on H.R. 3361
February 5, 2014
Dear Mr. bhelx,
Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 3361, the Uniting and
Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping,
Dragnet-collection, and On-line Monitoring (USA Freedom) Act. I
appreciate hearing from you on this issue. I am certainly concerned
about recent developments regarding the National Security
Administration (NSA) and its intelligence gathering practices pursuant
to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
As a lawyer and long-time legislator, I am a forceful defender of the
foundation of our republic, the U.S. Constitution. This document is the
blueprint upon which our system of government and its checks and
balances rests. The Fourth Amendment to our Constitution is sacrosanct
and is a powerful safeguard against government infringement on personal
liberties. The Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches,
and the related exclusionary rule that protects citizens from illegally
obtained evidence, are critical elements of our Bill of Rights and
jurisprudence. As a Member of the Homeland Security and Judiciary
Committees, I am incredibly sensitive to the need to balance the rights
of Americans with the need to protect the homeland. This is why I am
proud to cosponsor the USA Freedom Act.
The USA Freedom Act would rein in the dragnet-collection
of data by the NSA and other government agencies, increase transparency
of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), provide
businesses the ability to release information regarding FISA requests,
and create an independent constitutional advocate to argue cases before
the FISC. I am committed to working with my colleagues and the NSA to
ensure that your privacy is protected and the USA Freedom Act will
safeguard your private life from invasive searches. H.R. 3361 has been
referred to the House Committees on the Judiciary, Intelligence, and
Financial Services for further consideration.
Thank you again for your letter. Please know that I will keep your
thoughts in mind and I promise to be vigilant in protecting individual
liberties, even as we do the hard work of rooting out threats to our
communities where they emerge. I would like to invite you to stay
connected with me through my e-newsletter. You can sign-up on my
website at http://richmond.house.gov. I am also on Facebook at
facebook.com/RepRichmond and Twitter at twitter.com/RepRichmond. My
office is here to serve you, so please do not hesitate to contact us
for further assistance.
Sincerely,
Cedric L. Richmond
Member of Congress
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