The National Security Agency’s authority to collect US phone data en masse is set to expire at the end of this month, and key votes on the program in both houses of Congress are expected to come up this week. But if the bill that reaches the Senate floor is Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s straight renewal of the program and doesn’t include any reforms, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has said he’ll filibuster it.
“I’m tired of extending a bad law,” Wyden said on MSNBC yesterday. “If they come back with that effort to basically extend this for a short term without major reforms like ending the collection of phone records, I do intend to filibuster.”
Wyden, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, has been talking about surveillance overreach since well before the Snowden leaks occurred in 2013. It isn’t clear how many Senators would support a straight renewal of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, but it seems very unlikely that they would get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.
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