Yea for Surveillance
The US Senate voted against a bill whose purpose was to end the collection of telephone data of millions of citizens.
This practice has been carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA) over decades, but has only been notices fairly recently, after whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and others came forward with documents and testimony about the illegal and unconstitutional practices that until then had been done in secret.
With 57 votes against and 42 in favor, the Senate blocked the proposed legislation known as the “US Freedom Act”, which would have prohibited the mass collection of telephone data and modified the Patriot Act.
The Patriot Act is the legislation passed after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, which allows the US goverment to, among other things, hunt and kill American citizens at home and abroad without any regard for the rule of law.
If its approval had succeeded, the US Freedom Act would have amended Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which covers the collection of telephone data of millions of citizens without ties to terrorism, but in turn it had renewed the validity of the whole law including this and other changes until 2019.
The US Freedom Act was passed last week in the US House of Representatives with bipartisan support of 338 votes in favor and 88 against only to die at the hands of some US senators who voted against the legislation.
Incidentally, many of the legislators who voted against the proposal have more than questionable ties to the surveillance industry and many of them have received political contributions from those very same corporations.
However, from the moment it was approved in the House of Representatives, security experts warned that the US Freedom Act would have a much graeter difficulty to advance in the Senate, where the leader of the Republican Party, Mitch McConnell, has always opposed changing the Patriot Act.
After blocking the US Freedom Act, the Senate passed a vote on a two-month extension of the Patriot Act, as it is scheduled to expire on June 1.
“The extension of two months is in the best interest to achieve a result that will convince the Senate, the House and the president,” said McConnell.
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Luis R. Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the founder & editor of The Real Agenda News. His career spans over 23 years in every form of news media. He writes about environmentalism, education, technology, science, health, immigration and other current affairs. Luis has worked as on-air talent, news reporter, television producer, and news writer.