While Americans twitter away at the latest fear porn surge on their social media timelines, the Senate is preparing to quietly pass, with no real problem, the renewal of the NSA’s warrantless internet surveillance program.
It appears as if the vote will come sometime this week, with the bill easily passing the Senate after already passing the House. The Senate version is also missing the amendments in the House that would have held in check some aspects of the program.
But do let’s concentrate our rage on whatever nutty thing Trump said this week or whatever latest hashtag movement that’s been created by the Social Justice Warriors. While Rome burned, America hashtagged.
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday advanced a bill to renew the National Security Agency’s warrantless internet surveillance program, as a final push by privacy advocates to derail the measure came up one vote short.
The vote marked a disappointing end to a years-long effort by a coalition of liberal Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans to redefine the scope of U.S. intelligence collection in the wake of the 2013 disclosures of classified surveillance secrets by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The legislation just cleared the procedural 60-vote threshold required to limit debate in the Senate and was expected to earn the simple majority required to officially pass through the chamber sometime later this week. The vote, which split party lines and was held open for nearly an hour and a half as opposing sides jockeyed for final votes, was 60-38.
The bill would extend for six years and with minimal changes the NSA program, which gathers information from foreigners overseas but incidentally collects an unknown amount of communications belonging to Americans. It easily passed the House of Representatives last week despite mixed signals posted on Twitter by President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign the measure into law if it reaches his desk.