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BK Blog Post
Posted by Tom Devine.
Tom Devine is legal director of the Government Accountability Project, where he has worked to assist thousands of whistleblowers to come forward and has been involved in the all of the campaigns to pass or defend major whistleblower laws over the last two decades.
CNN offers a primer on the Patriot Act highlighting the avenues for potential reform as well as the opposition’s point of view. It should be noted that in a rare post-midnight vote on this past Saturday morning, a House-approved reform bill of the NSA’s mass surveillance program was rejected, and the U.S. Senate took no action to extend or revise section 215 of the Patriot Act, which could lead to the law’s expiration on June 1st pending Senate action this Sunday.
Interestingly, there is no credible evidence that bulk collection of American’s data actually keeps us safer.
“FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.”
This in spite of the fact that the Washington Times reports the FBI has tripled its use of bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act between 2004 and 2009.
FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers
The Washington Times
“The claim that the expiration of Section 215 would deprive the government of necessary investigative tools or compromise national security is entirely without support.”
Scaremongering About the Patriot Act Sunset
Fire Dog Lake