Senate Fails To Pass Both USA Freedom And PATRIOT Act Extension, Setting Up Possible Expiration Of Section 215
from the the-drama-rises dept
Well, well. Here’s a quick (rare) Saturday post just to get folks up to speed on what happened late last night. After going back and forth for a while, the Senate voted on… and failed to approve both a version of the USA Freedom Act and a short “clean extension” of the clauses of the PATRIOT Act that were set to expire — mainly Section 215 which some (falsely) believe enables the NSA to collect bulk metadata from telcos (and potentially others). What this means is that it is much more likely that Section 215 expires entirely. The Senate has since left town, though it plans to come back next Sunday, May 31st to see if it can hammer out some sort of agreement. Though, beware of false compromises, such as those being pushed by Senate Intelligence Committee (and big time NSA supporter), Richard Burr. His “hastily introduced” bill pretends to try to “bridge the gap” but in actuality is much worse than basically anything else on the table.
Oftentimes when things like this happen, it’s all political theater — with Senators appearing to “take stands” on key issues to please constituents. This time, however, there does seem to be genuine confusion as to where this is all going to end up. Next week ought to be fairly interesting…