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Lawmakers turn their attention to the Patriot Act following NSA revelations

Published: June 10, 2013
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Source: Raw Story

The White House has said it would consider congressional calls to review the Patriot Act after conceding that revelations over the scale of US surveillance activity had sparked “an appropriate debate”.

The legislation, which was introduced after the 9/11 attacks, has been cited as the legal basis for the National Security Agency scouring billions of ordinary US telephone records in an effort to combat terrorism.

But even one it authors, Republican Jim Sensenbrenner, has questioned whether the act has been misapplied in the cases revealed to the Guardian by former CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The administration insisted Monday it welcomed the intense furore in Washington that has followed Snowden’s disclosures. “If that debate were to lead to building a consensus around changes [to the Patriot Act], he would look at that,” said spokesman Jay Carney. “The president has been very clear that he takes the concerns about these issues very seriously.”

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