Daniel Amen says that the expiration of Section 215 of the Patriot Act may seem like a victory for those who value their privacy. But upon further investigation, Section 215 is only a very small part of very big piece of legislation. Also, those who oppose the NSA’s surveillance programs are warning Americans that Big Brother has plenty more tricks up his sleeve.
Section 215 of the Patriot Act expired on Monday at midnight, forcing the NSA to immediately stop their bulk data collection programs that have been in operation for well over a decade. Steve Cash, a former member of Senate intelligence and Judicary Committess, explains why the expiration of Section 215 really isn’t as rewarding as it has been made out to be. Cash explains, “”Some of the expiring authorities provide efficiency as opposed to new capabilities or authorities. Whether they could do things in the absence of the statutory authority to fill in the gaps, I’ll sort of start with the obvious — it’s a big intelligence community, they have lots and lots of capabilities they’re going to have to look to.”
For instance, Section 224 of the Patriot Act is referred to as the “grandfather” clause because it gives the NSA permission to continue active investigations even after the bill has expired, effectively grandfathering in their data collection programs. The bottom line is: Innocent American citizens are still unknowingly being spied on by their own government.