On May 13, the Senate failed to pass an amendment to the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act which would protect individuals’ Internet browsing and search history from government surveillance without a warrant.
Since Congress is likely voting tomorrow on the Lofgren-Davidson amendment to the PATRIOT Act, today is the day to contact your representatives and tell them how you’d like them to vote.
Later this week, the House of Representatives is once again voting on whether or not to extend the authorities in Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act—a surveillance law with a rich history of government overreach and abuse, along with two other PATRIOT Act provisions, and possibly, an amendment.
The Patriot Act is up for renewal in Congress as the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020 and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has added in an amendment that would open up internet history to the list of information that the FBI and DOJ would be able to access without a warrant.
The Senate last week passed a reauthorization of the Patriot Act that included language from Mitch McConnell granting the FBI authority to see web-browsing records without a warrant.
The Patriot Act is up for renewal with the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act and this bill as-is allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ) to access your internet history without a warrant.
As if the original phone metadata siphoning provisions of the Patriot Act aren’t enough, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has introduced an amendment which would allow the Department of Justice (DOJ) to have access to anybody’s web browsing and search history under Section 215.
The bi-partisan push to install the privacy protection mechanism was led by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Steve Daines (R-MT), and came following the news a planned addition to the PATRIOT Act, which is due to be renewed this week, would allow law enforcement to collect people’s browsing histories without a warrant.
He also noted companies using that type of information could open the door to the government being able to obtain the personal data through national security laws such as the Patriot Act. Location data tracked through digital companies, though, could help notify people who were in a store or area where someone later tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
As a result, key members in the House and Senate are now opposing reauthorization of the phone records surveillance – though they are still planning to reauthorize other parts of the surveillance act.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKIIf Republicans have any appetite for reining in domestic surveillance that they describe as a massive violation of the civil liberties of Donald Trump’s associates, it wasn’t on display when FBI Director Christopher Wray made his first appearance on Capitol Hill since the damning Justice Department inspector general’s report into the Trump-Russia investigation.
A bipartisan group in Congress is attempting (again) to pass legislation that would restrict the National Security Agency from abusing the PATRIOT Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendment (FISA) Court in order to collect and access private records of Americans.
This relatively innocuous language pushes back the sunset provision of the Patriot Act by three months, leaving its vast powers in the hands of a president who Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden charges with "failure to uphold basic democratic principles," who House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused of "alarming connections and conduct with Russia" and, joined by Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, says is making an attempt to "shred the Constitution.".
U.S. intelligence officials have asked Congress to permanently extend a controversial program that has allowed the National Security Agency to collect millions of telephone records.Since the call records program was voluntarily suspended, there’s no legal impediment to the NSA resuming collection before Section 215 of the Patriot Act expires in December.
The Trump Administration supports the permanent restoration of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allowed the National Security Administration (NSA) to collect the phone records of American citizens as part of a mass surveillance program.
The NSA’s telephone record program, conducted under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, allows it to collect metadata of phone calls, including phone numbers, time stamps, and other identifying information.
In a press release from 2002, Assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh said of Newstead, "Her enhanced leadership duties and her excellent service on a range of issues — including helping craft the new U.S.A. Patriot Act to protect the United States against terror — have earned her this important distinction.
Jennifer Newstead, a Trump appointee who served in the Justice Department under President Bush, will soon be taking over as general counsel of Facebook, the company announced in a press release Monday afternoon.
That’s why the bipartisan coalition, which includes organizations ranging from the right-leaning FreedomWorks to the progressive legal advocacy group the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), is arguing that the 2015 USA Freedom Act—meant to reform the bulk phone collection program authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act after Edward Snowden’s bombshell revelations of broad surveillance of Americans—hasn’t achieved its intended goals and has only allowed the abuse to continue.
Coincidentally, EFF had organized a briefing of congressional staff the day after the Times report on the controversial surveillance law used to conduct telephone record surveillance: Section 215 of the Patriot Act. As we told Congress, it is long past time to end the telephone records program for good.
“H.R. 6729 [the Empowering Financial Institutions to Fight Human Trafficking Act of 2018] is a disguised effort to expand the Patriot Act,” U.S. Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said on Saturday, asserting that the bill is really intended to “conceal the bill’s true purpose: to give the government more power to unconstitutionally spy on law-abiding Americans without a warrant.”