A Historical Primer on Section 215 Bulk Collection

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Over on the IAPP’s Privacy Tracker blog, FPF Senior Fellow explains how the past week has seen two significant events concerning Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. First, on May 7, the Second Circuit ruled that “the telephone metadata program exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized and therefore violates” Section 215. And yesterday, the House of Representatives approved the USA FREEDOM Act by 338-88, which could limit by statute collection of domestic telephone metadata and other records under Section 215. According to Swire, this week’s activities will have potential important effects in the long term on surveillance policy.