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Amendment Requiring NSL to Target Foreign Terrorism Voted Down

An amendment to the Patriot Act provision authorizing National Security Letters that would have required the letters to target only people with some connection

Jul 31, 2020
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An amendment to the Patriot Act provision authorizing National Security Letters that would have required the letters to target only people with some connection to a foreign power or the activities of a foreign power, so as to ensure that the NSL is actually issued to investigate terrorism rather than, say, fishing expeditions, was just voted down in a markup session of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
So far, much of the debate is focusing on whether and to what extent the law should be focused on investigations of foreign terrorists, as opposed to being open to be used for ordinary domestic law enforcement. Given that the Patriot Act was passed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to prevent another one, Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) have all come out strongly in favor of requiring some nexus to international terrorism.
Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and others all appear to be leaning towards the view of the FBI and Justice Department, which has told the senators in classified sessions that the broader versions of the Patriot Act provisions are necessary to combat terrorism.
Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

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Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
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