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FEATURING SANDRA FULTON – The Republican dominated Senate on Monday voted to extend a number of federal surveillance programs for 77 days – programs that had expired on Sunday. Rather than vote on a bill that would alter the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and extend the 2015 USA Freedom Act, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell chose a blanket 77-day extension of existing programs.

Nearly 20 years ago in the wake of the September 11th 2001 attacks, Congress overwhelmingly passed the USA Patriot Act, enacting broad surveillance powers over Americans. Now, with the Covid-19 pandemic spreading around the world, will lawmakers once more push through sweeping surveillance powers while we remain distracted by the slow-moving disaster?

Sandra Fulton, Government Relations Director with the Free Press Action Fund.

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