Sen. Feinstein chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sen. Dianne Feinstein Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has been one of the most stalwart defenders of widespread NSA surveillance since leaks with information about the programs started seeping out nearly five months ago. Civil libertarians and reformers have been none too pleased with her rhetoric—and they’re not going to get any happier after reading the bill she introduced today.

The FISA Improvements Act has already attracted plenty of critics who view it as no improvement at all. In fact, they say, Feinstein’s bill would make things much worse. It would actually enshrine the NSA “bulk data” collection programs into law and grant official Congressional approval to widespread surveillance programs that haven’t ever received such affirmation before.

Her bill comes on the heels of a competing bill introduced earlier this week that reformers say would be a real step in the right direction. It would outright ban some of the programs that Feinstein is vociferously defending. Dozens of politicians have now stated they’re ready to end the controversial “bulk data” programs, including the NSA’s practice of keeping a log of every phone call made in the United States.

In the House of Representatives, 70 members signed on to a bill proffered by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the sponsor of the original Patriot Act, which would shut the programs down.

A companion bill in the Senate has a dozen co-sponsors, as well.      

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