While pro-surveillance senators are continuing to appear optimistic on the last minute Sunday vote on the Patriot Act Section 215 renewal, there appears to be little reason for them to be so hopeful.
They seem to be resting on the idea that White House support and the close deadline will scare a few votes over to their side, but major opposition from Sens. Rand Paul (R – KY) and Ron Wyden (D – OR) doesn’t seem to have changed, nor is there any indication of anyone else coming on board.
If anything, privacy advocates seem to be ratcheting up their opposition to the various attempts to renew the deal, who note that the “reform” bills are so watered down they actually amount to expansions of power.
Officials have long assumed the Patriot Act would just get renewed because terrorism, but having failed to get the watered-down reform bill through, they appear at a loss as to what to do next, unwilling to offer serious reforms that would lessen the scope of NSA abuses of the law.