Patriot Act Renewal Vexes US Congress - NSA Spying Expires The revelations of Edward Snowden finally result in governmental non-action!
The publication of this issue was delayed by a day in order to see what action the US Senate would take on the renewal of the Patriot Act. They took no action and the Act expired. It will probably be renewed, if only in part, early next month, June)
Two years ago this month, Edward Snowden began to reveal the secret surveillance programs operating that were spying on most citizens in the United States and others throughout the world. Many of these programs were being run by the US National Security Agency (NSA), with its vast arrays of very powerful computers.
Documents released by Snowden also revealed that the government had secretly approved these programs and had been using a secret (FISA) court to be the exclusive review for establishing legality and granting NSA the authority to go forward with its mass surveillance activities on US citizens ( and others), intercepting, e.g., phone calls, emails, Internet activities, searches, photos, social media, et al. Everything was, is being watched by the NSA and other intelligence agencies of the US government.
Beyond the FISA court, the government’s authority for this surveillance was in part provided by the Patriot Act, a draconian grant of extraordinary governmental powers that was voted into law in the aftermath of the attacks of 11 September 2001, when anti-terrorism concerns were at their all time height. The Patriot Act has a built in expiration date of 31 May 2015. In order to stay in force, it needed to be renewed by Congress.