Key Parts of US Patriot Act Expire Temporarily as Senate Moves Toward Limits on Spying

The government’s authority to sweep up vast quantities of phone records in the hunt for terrorists expired at 12:01 a.m. Monday after Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, blocked an extension of the program during an extraordinary and at times caustic Sunday session of the Senate.Still, the Senate signaled that it was ready to curtail the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection program with likely passage this week of legislation that would shift the storage of telephone records from the government to the phone companies. The House overwhelmingly passed that bill last month. Senators voted, 77 to 17, on Sunday to take up the House bill.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/us/politics/senate-nsa-surveillance-usa-freedom-act.htmlAlso see:NSA programme: Bush-era powers expire as US prepares to roll back surveillance
Sweeping US surveillance powers, enjoyed by the National Security Agency since the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks, shut down at midnight after a dramatic Senate showdown in which even the NSA’s biggest supporters conceded that substantial reforms were inevitable.Almost two years after the whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed to the Guardian that the Patriot Act was secretly being used to justify the collection of phone records from millions of Americans, critics of bulk surveillance went further than expected and forced the end of a range of other legal authorities covered by the Bush-era Patriot Act as well.
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/31/nsa-reform-senate-deal-as-patriot-actSun sets on some NSA surveillance powers as Rand Paul foils extension
The legal authority for several national security programs expired at midnight Sunday and will not be renewed for at least two days, after Senate Republicans leaders were unable to maneuver around Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a presidential candidate who followed through on a pledge to block an extension of the law.The Senate closed a rare Sunday session without approving the only legislation that would have averted a lapse in the authority — a House-passed bill that would provide for an orderly transition away from the most controversial program authorized under the current law: the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of call records from telephone companies.
www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/some-nsa-surveillance-powers-set-to-expire-sunday-unless-senate-acts/2015/05/31/42f215a2-066c-11e5-a428-c984eb077d4e_story.htmlRand Paul Takes On ‘Eye Roll’ Caucus to Oppose Data Gathering in Patriot Act
With his presidential campaign flagging, Senator Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican known for a strong libertarian bent and a penchant for dramatics, understood on Sunday that he had to make good on his “Stand With Rand” sloganeering.He needed to block a vote on the Senate floor to extend the vast surveillance authority the government has used since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It was a task he performed with relish, and he succeeded, at least temporarily.
www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/us/politics/rand-paul-takes-on-eye-roll-caucus-to-oppose-data-gathering-in-patriot-act.htmlA Gap in Surveillance, but Ways Around It
For the first time since the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans will again be free to place phone calls — to friends, lovers, business associates, political groups, doctors and pizza restaurants — without having logs of those contacts vacuumed up in bulk by the National Security Agency.And for the first time in nearly 14 years, if government agents identify new phone numbers that they suspect are linked to terrorism, they will have to subpoena phone companies for associated calling records and wait for the response to see if anyone in the United States has been in contact with that number. The N.S.A. can no longer simply query its database for the information.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/us/a-gap-in-surveillance-but-ways-around-it.html

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