6:47 PM EST. Currently, the Senate is holding the vote open and both sides are trying to get just two votes to win their side. A “no” vote is a vote for preventing the railroading of a vote on FISA renewal and for debating limitations on this unconstitutional (my opinion) law. No matter what happens, privacy advocates and constitutional conservatives should take heart that this vote is even close. A few years ago, you’d be lucky to have two senators speaking up for the 4th amendment!
The Patriot Act, enacted shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, was essentially an amendment to FISA that expanded surveillance to individuals not directly linked to terrorist groups. Many of the most controversial parts of the Patriot Act, particularly those dealing with bulk surveillance, expired in 2015 but…(have been continuously renewed and expanded.) More.