ACLU Calls on Senate to Abandon Pursuit of Vote to Expand Patriot Act Provisions That Allow Warrantless Surveillance

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Gabriela Melendez, 202-715-0826, gmelendez@aclu.org

ACLU Calls on Senate to Abandon Pursuit of Vote to Expand Patriot Act Provisions That Allow Warrantless Surveillance

 Sen. McConnell Could Call for Second Vote to Pass Patriot Act Expansion

WASHINGTON - The Senate failed today by two votes to expand the FBI’s warrantless surveillance powers under the USA PATRIOT Act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) could call for a second vote to pass the proposed amendment.

The amendment would allow the FBI to collect sensitive electronic information, including the browsing history, IP addresses, and email metadata of Americans without a court order. It would also make permanent the “lone wolf” provision, which has reportedly never been used and allows the government to obtain secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act orders for individuals who are not connected to an international terrorist group or foreign nation.

Karin Johanson, American Civil Liberties Union national political director, had the following reaction:

“The Senate should not respond to the massacre in Orlando by voting to gut Americans’ privacy protections and expand provisions of the Patriot Act that have consistently been abused by the government. The McCain amendment would allow the FBI to collect Americans’ most sensitive information – including the websites they visit and addresses they email – without a court order. We urge the Senate to abandon this misguided effort.”

This statement is online here: https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-calls-senate-abandon-pursuit-vote-expand-patriot-act-provisions-allow-warrantless

More information can be found here: https://www.aclu.org/blog/washington-markup/congress-seeks-expand-warrantless-surveillance-under-patriot-act

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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