Mitch McConnell wants to re-up the Patriot Act for another five years

Bonnie Kristian

You may have heard that key provisions of the deceptively named PATRIOT Act—the law passed in the wake of 9/11 which gave the government massive new legal authority to invade our privacy and ignore the Fourth Amendment—are set to expire in June.

Most notable among what will expire is Section 215:

All of these sections are concerning, but Section 215 takes the cake. It’s the authority that the NSA, with the FBI’s help, has interpreted to allow the U.S. government to vacuum up the call records of millions of innocent people. It’s also been the focus of most of the NSA reform efforts in Congress over the last year and a half.

This is also the portion of the PATRIOT Act that would have been reauthorized by the USA Freedom Act, which the Senate voted down this past fall. In fact, its inclusion is the reason Senator Rand Paul voted against the Freedom Act, which otherwise would have provided some modest reforms of the NSA.

Since the USA Freedom Act failed, Section 215 has yet to be reauthorized—but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to make it happen…



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