The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Josh Bell, 212-549-2508,

ACLU Calls for Expiration of Patriot Act Section 215

ACLU Opposes McConnell’s 5-Year Extension of NSA Spy Program Authorization


Congress should let Patriot Act Section 215 expire on June 1, effectively ending the NSA's bulk phone records collection program, the American Civil Liberties Union said today.

The ACLU also voiced strong opposition to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's bill, introduced last night, which would extend Section 215 until December 31, 2020.

"The Patriot Act has been at the root of many of the most serious abuses of government spying powers," said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU. "We need to have a serious debate about the effectiveness of the Patriot Act and its implications for civil liberties. Until that happens, Congress should let Section 215 of the Patriot Act expire with the whimper it deserves."

Congress included sunset provisions in the original Patriot Act because the legislation was drafted quickly and it was understood that these sections would need to be revisited once more was known about their implications for civil liberties.

A blog post by Romero calling for Section 215's expiration is at:

This statement is at:

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

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