House Votes to Change Patriot Act by Stopping Bulk Phone Data Collection
The House of Representatives on Wednesday gave Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a big reason to crank up his hustle if he wants to hang on to the part of the Patriot Act that allows for the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records. And, to be clear, he does want to keep that contested clause in the legislation.
The New York Times brought word of the day’s House vote on the metadata issue:
Under the bipartisan bill, which passed 338 to 88, the Patriot Act would be changed to prohibit bulk collection by the National Security Agency of metadata charting telephone calls made by Americans. In addition, the legislation would bar permitting bulk collection of records using other tools like so-called national security letters, which are a kind of administrative subpoena.
The near unanimity in the House is not reflected in the Senate, where a bipartisan group that backs the House bill faces opposition from Mr. McConnell and a small but powerful group of defense hawks who want no change, and from another faction led by Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, that is pressing for even greater restrictions of data collection.
A compromise of some form must be reached before June 1, when the provision of the Patriot Act that allows the N.S.A. dragnet expires.
The paper also pointed out that Edward Snowden’s metadata-related revelations served as a catalyst for this latest legislative development, which was also influenced by last week’s federal appeals court ruling that the NSA’s bulk collection activities were illegal.
–Posted by Kasia Anderson’TIS THE REASON…
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