Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Expiring Authorization for the Bulk Records Collection Program Under Section 215 of FISA

[The current FISA court authorization for the government to engage in the bulk collection of phone records under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act expires on Friday. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the author of the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act of 2014, which would end this dragnet collection of Americans’ phone records.]


“Last month, Senate Republicans filibustered the USA FREEDOM Act of 2014, which would have ended the NSA’s bulk collection of innocent Americans’ phone records.  While I am disappointed that Senate Republicans would not even let us debate the bill, I will continue to fight for strong reforms to government surveillance laws in order to protect the privacy of Vermonters and all Americans.  The President can end the NSA’s dragnet collection of Americans’ phone records once and for all by not seeking reauthorization of this program by the FISA Court, and once again, I urge him to do just that.  Doing so would not be a substitute for comprehensive surveillance reform legislation – but it would be an important first step.”


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