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    Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, speaks to the press in the Senate at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on May 31, 2015

    US Faces Heightened Danger Due to Expiration of Government Surveillance Law

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    US Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein said that the ‘lone wolf’ is now the biggest threat” to US domestic security.

     

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The potential threat to the US national security is unprecedented following the lapse in US data collection authorities, US Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein told the press on Tuesday.

    “I have never seen a time of greater potential danger than right now, and I have never said that before,” Feinstein said of the Monday expiration of US government surveillance authorities.

    For the first time since 2001, the US National Security Agency (NSA) does not have the authority to bulk collect domestic communications data, conduct roving wiretaps, or track “lone wolf” terror threats.

    The authority for these programs expired on Monday when the Senate could not agree to extend the US Patriot Act authorities or pass new legislation, the USA Freedom Act, to replace the spying programs.

    “We know the ‘lone wolf’ is now the biggest threat” to US domestic security, Feinstein said.

    She commented on the threat of foreign fighters, noting the US Federal Bureau of Investigation “is making arrests virtually every week based on people who want to go to Syria to fight.”

    Critics of the NSA, including US Senator Rand Paul, have accused lawmakers of using fear to implement government surveillance programs.

    The Senate is scheduled for a final vote on the USA Freedom Act on Tuesday.

     

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    USA Freedom Act, National Security Agency (NSA), Dianne Feinstein, United States
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