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Senators Sound Alarm Over Patriot Act Extension


Tiger Woods?

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LA Times Article

Reporting from Washington—

When two senators warned that the Patriot Act is being interpreted in a secret way that would alarm Americans if they knew the details, civil liberties activists could only speculate about what they meant.

The activists' fear: that the government is using the anti-terrorism law to collect vast troves of personal information, including cellphone records, on Americans who have no link to terrorism.

Congress voted overwhelmingly last week to reauthorize key provisions of the Patriot Act for four more years. President Obama signed it from France by authorizing the use of an autopen.

The Senate debate on the law featured an unusual dissent by two senators who serve on the Intelligence Committee.

Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, both Democrats, proclaimed that the Patriot Act's surveillance powers are being used far more expansively than most Americans realize. But they can't disclose what they know, they said, because the documents that detail how the Obama administration implements the act are classified. As members of the Intelligence Committee, Wyden and Udall are privy to secret briefings.

"Today the American people do not know how their government interprets the language of the Patriot Act," Wyden said. "Someday they are going to find out, and a lot of them are going to be stunned. Some of them will undoubtedly ask their senators: 'Did you know what this law actually did? Why didn't you know? Wasn't it your job to know, before you voted on it?' "

More at link above.

Ah well, might as well go back to blathering about mylife on Facebook.

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