Key provisions in the controversial Patriot Act have been temporarily suspended after the Senate was unable to reach a compromise by midnight of last night.
The Patriot Act, which was signed by President Bush shortly after 9/11, has allowed the government and the National Security Agency to "spy" on Americans, giving them access to individuals' private property, computers and, perhaps most notably, phone records.
Unsurprisingly, Americans have objected the act, calling it an invasion of privacy. Yesterday, the Senate voted to pass the USA Freedom Act, which would limit what telephone information could be collected. However, lawmakers were unable to reach a deal before the Patriot Act expired, resulting in various provisions of the Patriot Act expiring. One of the provisions that is no longer in effect is Section 215, which has allowed the NSA to collect Americans' phone records without their knowledge. The FBI and CIA are also now prohibited from obtaining individuals' and companies' financial information.
Some citizens' are celebrating the sudden expiration, saying that the government's intrusion in our lives in an invasion of privacy while others credit the NSA's high-tech methods with keeping our country safe from terrorists.
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