Sunday, May 31, 2015

NSA metadata surveillance on ordinary users expires at midnight; no deal in Congress on Section 215 of Patriot Act

Government surveillance powers, living largely within the NSA, expire at midnight tonight, since the Senate Republicans could not broker a deal with the House.  The AP story appears on WJLA here.  RT has a story that identifies Section 215 of the Patriot Act for surveillance here

Rand Paul (R-KY), arguing today, said that the government needed only to get a warrant on anyone it suspects has meaningful ties to terrorism.

CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin has argued that he metadata from wireless communications still exists with the phone companies, so it isn’t hard to get the data when it needs it, even without Patriot Act provisions.
Still, the AP story notes that it could be harder to track “lone wolf” terrorists with foreign ties.

Libertarian and pro-privacy groups have tweeted very one-sided, one-issue campaigns against renewing the Patriot Act.  Commitment to just one issue goes against my own grain (although I behaved that way one time regarding gays in the military).  

Today, at a church service at Trinity Presbyterian in Arlington, the guest pastor Tara Spuhler McCabe spoke about “leaping into safety” or “trust falls”.  It’s an interesting concept in character development (if not faith), that relates to a transformation of a particular character late in my novel.  I needed to make a note to myself of this right now! 
Update: June 1:

Tim Lee explains the options in Congress with regard to the Patirot Act, Section 215 (it has nothing to do with "Section 230") and the USA Freedom Act, and the three big "abuses" of the NSA, on a Vox column and card stack this morning, here.  I've tweeted and Face-d it.  

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