Opponents of the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephone data successfully blocked multiple attempts in the Senate


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Saturday morning the U.S. Senate blocked the extension of the expiring law that authorizes the NSA’s data collection program. The Patriot Act program that many feel is critical to national security has also alarmed privacy advocates for its sweeping nature.

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who is also seeking his party’s nomination for President, said he objected the law because his request for a guarantee of two amendments on a future bill dealing with the NSA program was denied.

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We have entered into a momentous debate. This is a debate about whether a warrant with a single name of a single company can be used to collect all of the phone records of all of the people in our country with a single warrant. Our forefathers would be aghast.”

The Senate blocked two separate measures. The first was a House-passed bill that would shift responsibility for holding data from the government to telecommunications companies, while also imposing stricter limitations on how authorities could access the information, failed in a 57-42 vote. The second measure was a two-month extension beyond the current law’s June 1st expiration date, which was voted down 54-45.