Late last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) introduced a bill that would reauthorize Section 215 and two other provisions of the Patriot Act, currently set to expire on June 1 of this year, until 2020. They also invoked a Senate procedural rule to bypass the usual committee process and send the bill straight to the Senate floor.
“The Senate leadership has tipped its hand and revealed its fundamental hostility to the liberties of the American people,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. “Renewing Section 215 without reform would enable the NSA to continue the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records, a practice that violates the privacy of nearly every American without making us any safer. There is no excuse to continue this program for another minute, let alone five years.
“Law-abiding Americans don’t deserve to be treated as suspected terrorists,” Goitein added. “Congress must end the bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records, not continue to hand out blank checks to the NSA.”
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