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What Does It Mean for Surveillance Programs to Expire?

With various Patriot Act surveillance programs expiring for at least a few days, Jeremy Diamond “what we know will change between now and” when the programs are restored.  

“FBI and NSA officials are allowed to continue using Section 215 and the roving wiretap provision in investigations they began before the June 1 expiration date. Any new investigations will have to go without the roving wiretaps and the ability to petition the secret FISA court for warrants to seize business records, like telephone metadata, in terrorism cases.”  

“As it stands, several official review boards — including a presidential review group and a government privacy oversight board — found that the bulk metadata collection program was not essential to thwarting a single terror plot… The roving wiretaps provision that can be used in terrorism cases is used less than 100 times per year, but officials could be in a bind when it comes to new investigations. Authorities could still obtain standard wiretaps on a suspected terrorists’ phone, but a new phone requires a new warrant.”

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