Last minute session to retain bulk phone record collections by NSA

Legislation ending the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records passed the House last week by a wide margin and is headed for the Senate. Under the legislation, intelligence officials would only be able to search data held by telephone companies on a case-by-case basis.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Unable to end a struggle over how to deal with government surveillance programs, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a last-minute session to consider retaining the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of domestic phone records.

McConnell is warning against allowing the controversial NSA program and other key surveillance activities under the USA Patriot Act to expire at midnight May 31. He is calling the Senate into session that day, a Sunday, and seeking action before the deadline.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul is taking a different view. The presidential candidate calls the Senate’s failure to allow an extension of the surveillance programs during a late-night session a victory for privacy rights.

Government officials say they will lose valuable surveillance tools if the surveillance programs expire.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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