Categories: Featured NewsIssues

NSA Critics Get A Historic Win As Senate Passes USA Freedom Act

History was made today, as the Senate voted 67-32 to reform a key provision of the Patriot Act by scrapping the NSA’s controversial phone metadata collection program.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could only sit and watch as three proposed amendments that his critics called poison polls withered and died. The passage of the USA Freedom Act has been a foregone conclusion for weeks, but McConnell tried to manufacture a crisis to force the passage of a full extension of some key Patriot Act spying powers. The Senate Majority Leader’s strategic blunder left him trapped in a quagmire between Rand Paul and his Democratic opponents.

The Patriot Act has long been a blight on civil liberties, but the degree of victory for NSA critics is debatable. The reforms in the USA Freedom Act are fairly modest. The metadata phone collection program is gone, but it has been replaced by the phone companies collecting the data, which only requires a warrant for a government search. It is better than nothing, but far from the sweeping reform that some are making it out to be.

It is important to remember that the data is still collected. The only difference is where it is being stored.

Senator Bernie Sanders made this point when he announced that he would be voting against the bill:

We must keep our country safe and protect ourselves from terrorists, but we can do that without undermining the constitutional and privacy rights which make us a free nation. This bill is an improvement over the USA Patriot Act but there are still too many opportunities for the government to collect information on innocent people.

This is not just the government. It’s corporate America too. Technology has significantly outpaced public policy. There is a huge amount of information being collected on our individual lives ranging from where we go to the books we buy and the magazines we read. We need to have a discussion about that.

The victory is history because it is the first one of its kind, but your data is still being collected, and it will only take a piece of paper to give the government the ability to search it. Hopefully, the USA Freedom Act is the first step towards full repeal of the Patriot Act.

Recent Posts

Trump Was Depressed And Not Eating After He Failed To Overthrow The Government

According to Liz Cheney's new book, Kevin McCarthy told her that Trump was depressed and…

3 hours ago

Robert DeNiro Angered That His Comments Blasting Trump Removed From Awards Speech

Robert DeNiro blamed Apple for cutting his criticisms of Donald Trump from his Gotham Awards…

6 hours ago

Jamie Raskin Destroys James Comer For Rejecting Hunter Biden’s Offer To Publicly Testify

House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) ripped Chair James Comer (R-KY) for…

9 hours ago

Koch Backed Group Virtually Ends Ron DeSantis’s Presidential Campaign

The Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity decided to put their millions of non-Trump supporting dollars behind…

9 hours ago

Senate Democrats To Discuss Putting Conditions On Future Aid To Israel

Senate Democrats say that they will discuss putting conditions on future US aid to Israel…

1 day ago

As Trump Tries To Avoid Jail, Biden Extends Middle East Ceasefire

Trump spent the Thanksgiving holiday ranting about the criminal and civil cases that he is…

1 day ago