Senate advances spy legislation but law will lapse

Susan Ferrechio
The Washington Examiner

A bill to extend a controversial anti-terrorism surveillance tool cleared a key Senate hurdle Sunday evening, but not in time to prevent it from expiring at midnight.

The Senate voted 77-17 to bring the USA Freedom Act to the floor for debate. The bill would extend surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act with significant reforms aimed at ensuring privacy rights, including a ban on the practice of bulk domestic data collection by the National Security Agency.

Under the bill, only phone companies will collect that data, and they will only hold it for 18 months.

But thanks in large part to objections from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a staunch opponent of the spying law, Senate passage is at least days away. That means several sections of the USA Patriot Act will expire June 1, including the provision that has been interpreted to allow the National Security Agency to collect phone and electronic data for the purposes of preventing terrorist attacks.

But Paul’s objections are not the only sticking point…



The article continues at The Washington Examiner.



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Related: Posted by Congressmen Justin Amash and Thomas Massie on Facebook tonight, “Defend Liberty:



Senator Rand Paul posted on his Facebook page:

The NSA is not collecting the information of terrorists. The NSA is collecting all Americans citizens’ records, all of the time. This is what we fought the revolution over. Are we going to so blithely give up our freedom? Are we going to so blindly go along and take it? Well, I’m not going to take it anymore and I intend on protecting the Constitution.




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