Remember The Patriot Act, Republicans (and Dems)? Remeber the small group of us jumping up and down urging caution? Remember that?
OK Freedom Caucus, it looks like a good number of you are ready to do the right thing here. Join with as many liberals as can be found on this issue and present a powerful coalition. This is supposed to be a free country.
Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, others also fretted about temptations for intelligence community employees to turn the surveillance apparatus on Americans.
“To folks in that world, it’s crack,” said an aide to another Republican congressman, who spoke without authorization of the aide’s boss and asked for anonymity. “You’ve got to get the genie back in the box, and that’s really hard.”…
…What concerns some legislators is the “incidental” collection of communications by U.S. citizens or permanent residents as the intelligence agencies target foreigners. For years, the nation’s spy chiefs have minimized that collection but refused to offer lawmakers hard data on how many are affected by the sweeps.
The White House has pushed for “clean” re-authorization of Section 702, leaving the authorization intact, but prospects for that are dimming, said Amie Stepanovich, U.S. policy manager at Access Now, a global public policy and advocacy group for an open and free internet.
“The pressure and the momentum is toward reform,” she said.
That bipartisan pressure traditionally has come from Democrats concerned about civil liberties and a smaller number of libertarian Republicans cautious about government overreach. The size of the latter group has grown.