Three Main Provisions of Controversial Patriot Act Expire
The U.S. government has fewer tools to investigate terrorism.
At least for now.
It comes after the Senate let part of the controversial Patriot Act expire Sunday night.
The Senate’s debate over the act went past the midnight deadline.
That ended three main provisions of the act.
The first provision stopped, Section 215, is usually considered the most controversial.
It allowed the NSA to collect telephone metadata on millions of Americans.
They could store the date for five years.
Another change is that law enforcement can’t get roving wiretaps anymore.
These were used to track terror suspects who changed ways of communicating, like phones, often.
Now police have to get individual warrants for each new device.
Last is the loss of a legal provision letting the NSA use national security tools to protect against “lone wolf” terror suspects if they can’t find a connection to a foreign terror group like ISIS.
The justice department admits this provision has never been used.
Some are pleased these programs were stopped.
But not everyone agrees.
Some say they’re extremely important as the U.S. continues the fight against terrorism.
Now, the Senate will work through several amendments to the USA Freedom Act, a bill that aims to reform the Patriot Act.
It’s not expected to reach President Obama’s desk until later this week.