The Senate’s senior lawmaker said Tuesday that its time to end the Patriot Act power that the intelligence community has relied on to collect all Americans’ phone records, saying it isn’t making the country safer.
“In my view, and I’ve discussed this with the White House, the Section 215 collection of Americans’ phone records must end,” said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat and chairman of the SenateJudiciary Committee. “It is not making America safer and the government has not made its case this is an effective counterterrorism tool.”
Speaking at Georgetown Law Center, Mr. Leahy said he would hold a classified briefing this week and call an open hearing next week to try to look at the issues at stake.
The intelligence snooping has come under scrutiny since leaks earlier this year exposed that the U.S. government was collecting the time and phone numbers of calls made in the U.S., as well as combing through other electronic communications.