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Senator Leahy: If President Obama Is Serious About Ending Bulk Collection, He Can Just End It This Friday

from the easy-peasy dept

As expected, President Obama outlined basic plans for ending bulk collection of phone records. While the actual details of the plan still haven't been revealed, apparently, the administration has some "enabling legislation" ready to go, which it hopes Congress will pass "quickly." In response to this, Senator Patrick Leahy pointed out that while he's very supportive of the move to end bulk collection of phone records, there's a much easier way to accomplish that. The authority to do so technically runs out on Friday of this week, so if the President wants to end the program, he can just not seek to renew the authority:
I look forward to having meaningful consultation with the administration on these matters and reviewing its proposal to evaluate whether it sufficiently protects Americans’ privacy. In the meantime, the President could end bulk collection once and for all on Friday by not seeking reauthorization of this program. Rather than postponing action any longer, I hope he chooses this path.
Anyone setting odds on the likelihood of this actually happening?

Filed Under: authority, barack obama, bulk collection, nsa, patrick leahy, phone records, section 215, surveillance


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2014 @ 2:57pm

    Obama supports this spying 100%. A complete 180 about face from what Senator Obama opposed. Now what could cause that?

    Senator Obama claimed to have wanted to run the most transparent administration in history. His deeds in that are precisely 180 from those claims with a recent news article claiming this administration was the most secretive he'd ever encountered. Now what would cause that?

    President Obama has used the 1917 Espionage Law to prosecute more whistle blowers than all the rest of the presidents of history totaled together. Now what would cause that?

    President Obama will not end the spying on his own. His reaction to the NSA investigation committee tells you he won't. His changes he proposed were next to nothing in actual preventive and stopping such data gathering practices. The fact that he wants legislation from congress tells me one thing. He wants a bill proposed that some other congress critter and slip in changes that make it all legal or change the intention of some of that bill. Otherwise he could as do as Senator Leahy suggests and just not seek renewal.

    You can bet the renewal will happen. There are too many co-incidences that leave you with the suspicion that Obama has something to hide he's worried about becoming public.

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