Related Press Releases

Senate Inaction Pushes Patriot Act Towards Sunset

Today the Senate rejected by narrow margins both the USA FREEDOM Act and a temporary extension of expiring PATRIOT Act authorities. The USA FREEDOM Act, which the House passed 338-88, garnered 57 of the 60 votes required to proceed. The Senate will meet again on Sunday, May 31st to vote again prior to the Section 215 sunset deadline.

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Section 215 Bulk Collection Poised To End

Today the House of Representatives departed for its Memorial Day recess having passed the USA FREEDOM Act to outlaw bulk collection under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. Unless, against all odds, the Senate approves a short-term extension and the House returns from its recess to pass it before the June 1 sunset, bulk collection under Section 215 will end.

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USA FREEDOM Passes in the House as Focus Shifts to Senate

Today a strong bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives voted to end the NSA’s domestic bulk collection under the PATRIOT Act and enact other surveillance reforms by passing the USA FREEDOM Act. Now focus shifts to the Senate, which faces pressure to act by May 22, 2015 the last legislative day before Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act expires. The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) supports the legislation, and urges its swift passage in the Senate.

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UN Human Rights Council Highlights US Surveillance Abuses

Today, the United Nations Human Rights Council conducted its second Universal Periodic Review of the United States’ human rights practices. During this process, UN Members States have the opportunity to raise concerns about a country’s human rights record, highlighting particular concerns or areas for clarification. The human rights implications of large-scale government surveillance were a prominent topic of criticism by more than a dozen countries.

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Circuit Court Rules Bulk Collection Program Illegal

Today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union that the government’s bulk collection of records about calls to, from, and within the U.S. is unlawful. In sweeping language, the court found that the purported statutory basis of the program – Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act – does not authorize bulk collection of phone call records.

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Broad Coalition Supports Passage of USA FREEDOM Act as Section 215 Deadline Nears 

Today dozens of companies, trade associations, and civil society groups issued a letter calling on Congress to swiftly pass the USA FREEDOM Act. The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT)-led letter comes with less than one month remaining before the expiration of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act — the provision the government uses to justify its bulk collection…

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