Congress postponed a vote to extend Patriot Act surveillance programs

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Congress has postponed a planned vote to reauthorize controversial surveillance programs. As Politico reports, the House Judiciary Committee intended to renew parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) before they expire on March 15th. But the committee canceled a vote set for today after learning that Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) would offer new amendments — ones that Democrats feared would hurt the bill’s chances in a House-wide vote.

The bill would extend a handful of domestic surveillance rules, particularly Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which lets government agencies demand sensitive business records with a secret court approval. Section 215 was set to expire in late 2019, but Congress extended it for three more months…

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