Sanders calls on Congress to 'take a very hard look' at the Patriot Act

Earlier this week, Edward Snowden, a former CIA contractor, leaked information about federal government spying programs. 

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The National Security Agency (NSA) has come under the spotlight in the last week after The Guardian revealed that the agency is collecting data related to all phone calls — foreign and domestic — made on the Verizon network. The Guardian and The Washington Post also uncovered a separate NSA program, dubbed PRISM, that's gathering Internet data from foreign users.

“There should be a debate … on whether the Fourth Amendment is still relevant,” Sanders said. “But let us not pretend that the protections of the Fourth Amendment exist when they in fact don’t exist.”

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects U.S. citizens from search and seizure until there is probable cause of wrongdoing and a warrant.

“This week we learned that it is likely that nearly every phone call that is ever being made is being collected by the United States government,” Sanders said. “We also learned the government has the capability to monitor every website that we visit, ever video that we see and every item that we search for.”

Sanders warned that is Congress didn’t act “the monitoring of our daily lives will only increase as technology advances.”

Also on Tuesday, a group of senators introduced legislation that would require the U.S. Attorney General to declassify significant opinions made by courts operating under the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), including its collection of Verizon phone records and the PRISM Internet data mining program.


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