A Section of the Patriot Act Authorizing METADATA Collection is Set to Expire on May 31, 2015. Update: 5/13/15
5/13/15. The USA Freedom Act passed overwhelmingly in The House.
The 338-88 vote to approve the bipartisan USA Freedom Act was an effort by lawmakers to rein in NSA surveillance while renewing key sections of the sweeping Patriot Act anti-terrorism law through 2019.
This Act is meant to curb the NSA’s collection of metadata.
Major provisions of the Patriot Act, including Section 215, are set to expire on June 1 and critics of the NSA program are using that deadline as an opportunity to end what Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., called "dragnet surveillance in the United States."
Now the bill has to pass the Senate where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has introduced a bill to renew The Patriot Act with no changes.
The USA Freedom Act’s fate is uncertain in the Senate, where it is not clear if Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will allow the House-approved bill to come to a vote. McConnell has introduced his own bill to renew the NSA surveillance program and other key Patriot Act provisions without any changes.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said he, like McConnell, would prefer to keep the NSA’s surveillance powers as they are.
"As threats to Americans at home and abroad increase by the day, now is not the time to be weakening our national security, with all the tragic consequences that may follow," Nunes said. However, he said he decided to vote for the bill in part because it would close a loophole in current law that forces the government to stop monitoring the communications of foreign terrorists, including members of the Islamic State.
Just stop doing it. Stop spying on us. Follow the proper path and obtain a search warrant if you want to gather information.
Section 215 of the Patriot Act is set to expire on May 31, 2015. This is the section of the law authorizing the government to collect domestic materials needed for terrorism investigations.
Let it expire.
Senator Mike Lee (Utah) recently wrote an article for National Review:
It’s Time to Put an End to the NSA’s Bulk Collection of Americans’ Metada
"The authors of our Bill of Rights included the Fourth Amendment because they knew that one of the best protections against tyranny is to limit the government’s power to search its citizens. Specifically, the Framers wanted to ensure that the federal government could not issue broad general warrants that would empower the executive branch to indiscriminately rummage through the private lives of American citizens — in other words, to spy on them. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the National Security Agency is doing today."
"In a perfect world we could trust that the federal government would not abuse this power. But we do not live in that world."
"In 2012, the director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, testified under oath before the United States Senate that the NSA was not collecting data on hundreds of millions of Americans. When it was later revealed that the NSA was doing just that, and had been for over a decade, Clapper admitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee that his earlier testimony was "clearly erroneous.""
March 12, 2013 Testimony of James Clapper
Let It Expire
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