Congress Extends Section 215 Surveillance Program

Congress has temporarily extended Section 215 of the Patriot Act, a controversial surveillance law that allows collection of the telephone records of Americans. EPIC had urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to end the NSA's phone record collection program. EPIC wrote "events of the past few years make clear that Section 215 should not be renewed." In 2013, following the Snowden disclosures, EPIC filed a petition with the Supreme Court, challenging the lawfulness of Section 215. Congress found the 215 program was ineffective and passed the USA Freedom Act to limit data collection. NSA has since acknowledged significant compliance problems. Both Democrats and Republicans have expressed concerns about the surveillance program. The temporary renewal in the House spending bill extends the law until March 15, 2020.

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