Sen. Feinstein: NSA Metadata ‘Here to Stay’

Says Opponents Don't Have the Votes for Changes

by Jason Ditz, January 20, 2014

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D – CA), the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has made no bones about her support for NSA surveillance of all shapes and sizes, and has introduced legislation that would broaden the NSA’s power to surveil Americans.

She seems less concerned about the prospect of reform than in recent weeks, however, declaring metadata collection “here to stay” and that the “dominant majority” supports President Obama’s attempts to keep the NSA powers intact.

Senate Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy (D – VT) is championing the biggest reform bill, but Feinstein says he simply doesn’t have the votes, insisting “privacy people don’t understand” the importance of the NSA’s spying on literally the entire human race.

Though its unclear if the Senate has the votes to pass any reforms, Sen. Mark Udall (D – CO) says he believes that either way the program won’t last beyond 2015, when the Patriot Act provision expires, and he believes Feinstein and the other surveillance hawks likewise don’t have the votes to keep the law in place.

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