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US Republicans introduce bill to extend surveillance elements of the US Patriot Act

The US Republican party has introduced a new bill in the US Senate that looks set to trigger a fresh wave of concern about NSA surveillance and data gathering.

The bill aims to extend the ability of US government agencies for the mass collection of US telephone records.

At the moment, the US Patriot Act was introduced after the September 2001 attacks on America. Section 215 of the Act gave US government agencies (including the NSA) the authorisation to carry out the bulk collection of the meta data of all US telephone calls, under a program called Prism.

The current law is set to expire on June 1 this year, but now Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is sponsoring a bill that will extend this data harvesting authorisation until 31 December 2020.

And according to Reuters, Republicans said they would expedite Senate consideration of McConnell’s bill, which was submitted late on Tuesday. They will send it directly to the Senate floor rather than considering it first in committee.

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Source: Techweek Europe

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