In a resolution passed on June 29, 2005, they stated that “Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act allows the government to secretly request and obtain library records for large numbers of individuals without any reason to believe they are involved in illegal activity.”
President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law a measure that reauthorizes powerful electronic surveillance tools for another six years.
The president announced in a tweet that he signed the bill to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The legislation imposes only modest tweaks to the sweeping warrantless programs that intercept the digital traffic of foreign targets but also incidentally hoover up the personal information on an unknown number of Americans.
The measure passed over the opposition of privacy-minded Democrats and libertarian Republicans, who joined forces to argue that the 702 spying tools allow the government to conduct warrant-free searches on Americans.
President Trump signed a bill on Monday repealing internet privacy rules passed last year by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that would have given internet users greater control over what service providers can do with their data, a White House spokeswoman confirmed.
The FCC regulations would have required broadband companies to get permission from their customers in order to use their “sensitive” data — including browsing history, geolocation and financial and medical information — to create targeted advertisements.
In response to the September 11 attacks and the 2001 anthrax attacks, Congress swiftly passed legislation to strengthen national security. On October 23, 2001, Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner introduced H.R. 3162 incorporating provisions from a previously-sponsored House bill and a Senate bill also introduced earlier in the month. The next day, the Act passed the House by a vote of 357–66, with Democrats comprising the overwhelming portion of dissent. The three Republicans voting “no” were Robert Ney of Ohio, Butch Otter of Idaho, and Ron Paul of Texas. On October 25, the Act passed the Senate by a 98–1 vote, the only dissident being Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.
The bill, which removed most of the changes from the Senate version, passed Congress on March 2, 2006, and was signed by President Bush on March 9 and 10 of that year.
On May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011, a four-year extension of three key provisions in the Act: roving wiretaps, searches of business records, and conducting surveillance of “lone wolves”—individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups.
Following a lack of Congressional approval, parts of the Patriot Act expired on June 1, 2015. With passing the USA Freedom Act on June 2, 2015, the expired parts were restored and renewed through 2019.
The Trump administration is crafting a proposal to protect Web users’ privacy, aiming to blunt global criticism that the absence of strict federal rules in the United States has enabled data mishaps at Facebook and others in Silicon Valley.
Over the past month, the Commerce Department has been huddling with representatives of tech giants such as Facebook and Google, Internet providers including AT&T and Comcast, and consumer advocates, according to four people familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak on the record.