I don't think so--in theory, yes. In reality, no, of course not.
The House of Representatives voted today 338-88 to "stop bulk phone data collection" according to news headlines.
What they really voted on says the following:
- "The data will still be available for government searches, but it will lie with the individual phone companies."
- This bill will continue bulk data collection with marginal reform.
- This bill extends certain parts of the contested Patriot Act through 2019. Only certain parts were extended, not the major issue ones, which are still going through debates.
- The 88 people voted 'no' didn't think the bill went far enough to protect civil liberties--meaning they wanted a bill that did a better job at protecting our data.
What this seems like to me is a way to split the Patriot Act up and pass it piece by piece until all the provisions that the government wants to keep in play are extended to at least 2019. This doesn't seem like it's really doing much for our data privacy at all, unfortunately. Maybe I'm just missing part of the story, though.