LITTLE ROCK — Limits on the bulk collection of Americans’ phone data would be delayed under a bill by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

LITTLE ROCK — Limits on the bulk collection of Americans’ phone data would be delayed under a bill by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.


Cotton said Tuesday he was introducing the Liberty Through Strength Act, which would delay limitations on the National Security Agency’s bulk telecommunications data collection that is set to become effective Dec. 1 under the USA Freedom Act.


The Freedom Act was introduced after classified memos leaked by Edward Snowden exposed the NSA’s extensive data collection program. Under the law, the NSA will be able to access only targeted phone data with judicial approval.


Cotton is the only member of Arkansas’ congressional delegation who voted against the Freedom Act.


Under Cotton’s bill, the new limitations on data collection would not take effect until after Jan. 31, 2017, and upon certification by the president that the changes will have no operational impacts. The bill also would make permanent the roving wiretap provisions of the Patriot Act.


"The terrorist attacks in Paris last week are a terrible reminder of the threats we face every day," Cotton said in a statement. "And it made clear that the president’s empty policy of tough talk and little action isn’t working against ISIS. Regrettably, these policy follies also extend to the intelligence community, whose hands were tied by the passage of the USA Freedom Act."


Cotton said the Freedom Act "takes us from a constitutional, legal, and proven NSA collection architecture to an untested, hypothetical one that will be less effective."


"If we take anything from the Paris attacks, it should be that vigilance and safety go hand in hand," he said. "Now is not the time to sacrifice our national security for political talking points. We should allow the intelligence community to do their job and provide them with the tools they need to keep us safe."