For the first time in the memory of anyone who has just awoken from a 20 year coma in the past few months, the US Senate is coming back from a grueling week-long paid vacation early to try to meet a legislative deadline it has known about for years. Some key provisions of the Patriot Act expire at midnight if they are not extended or amended in such a way as to pass before that time.
The sections involved include key provisions dealing with the controversial mass accumulation of data concerning basically all telephone calls made in the US. This mass surveillance, made public famously by Edward Snowden, has become an extremely controversial issue for many, both within and outside of government, as a possible violation of our civil liberties and Constitutional rights under the 4th Amendment, which deals with unreasonable searches and seizures.
When the Patriot Act was passed…
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