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FBI May Lose Critical Surveillance Abilities Because of NSA Controversy

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s ability to covertly collect “books, papers, documents, and other items” with a court order is at risk.

The Washington Times reports that the Section 215 of the Patriot Act is set to expire in June, and it’s unclear whether lawmakers will “renew it, reform it or let it expire.”

Although the surveillance has helped the FBI track down suspects, Section 215 has become highly controversial because it gave the NSA legal authority to collect phone records on American citizens.

Some lawmakers said it’s critical to allow the FBI to collect the records.

“Law enforcement officials often use Section 215 to obtain necessary individual business records, such as hotel records, in connection with national security investigations,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican and chairman of the SenateJudiciary Committee, said in a statement to The Washington Times. “It’s a useful tool that helps them investigate potential threats to national security.”

The FBI declined to comment.

 


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