AMY GOODMAN: The U.S. government’s authority to sweep up millions of Americans’ phone records expired at 12:01 this morning, after the Senate failed to renew the practice exposed by National Security Agency whistleblower Ed Snowden. The move comes after Republican senator and presidential hopeful Rand Paul of Kentucky blocked an extension of three controversial measures in the PATRIOT Act during a special Sunday session of the Senate.
SEN. RAND PAUL: Let us be clear: We are here tonight because the president continues to conduct an illegal program. We are not collecting the information of spies. We are not collecting the information of terrorists. We are collecting all American citizens’ records all of the time. This is what we fought the revolution over.
Now, people say, “Well, they’re not looking at it. They’re not listening to it.” It’s the tip of the iceberg, what we’re talking about here. And realize that they were dishonest about the program until we caught them. They kept saying over and over again, “We’re not doing this. We’re not collecting your records.” And they were. The head of the intelligence agency lied to the American people, and he still works here. We should be upset. We should be marching in the streets and saying he’s got to go.
People say, “How will we protect ourselves without these programs?” What about using the Constitution? What about using judicial warrants? The Tsarnaev boy, the Boston bomber? They say, “How will we look at his phone records?” Get a warrant! Put his name on it!
AMY GOODMAN: The three parts of the PATRIOT Act that have now expired include Section 215, which authorizes the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone metadata, a lone wolf provision giving intelligence agencies the authority to follow suspected terrorists who may not be affiliated with a terrorist group and so-called roving wiretaps that allow the government to monitor someone who may use different phone lines to escape detection. In the hours ahead of Sunday’s failed vote to renew the measures, CIA Director John Brennan appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation with outgoing host Bob Schieffer.