No Deal – Patriot Act provisions expire

Ishpeming — No deal. After a showdown on Capitol Hill, the N–S–A has been forced to stop collecting Americans’ phone records in bulk in connection with the Patriot Act. In a rare Sunday session, the Senate was NOT able to pass a bill that would keep that and some other counter–terrorism provisions from expiring. And the White House calling the matter, “irresponsible.”

It’s a controversial subject to say the least. And those of you here in the U.P. aren’t without opinions on the topic.

“Up until today I didn’t even know it was going on. But now I am feeling like I have been invaded, I don’t think they should just be able to do it without our permission,” said Heather Pilto.

“The NSA’s bulk data collection program is, if not a constitutional violation then just a violation of personal privacy of the average citizen,” said Eric Brown.

“I do think there are concerns for personal freedom but I do also think that our concerns for terrorism out weight that,” added Gerry Larson. “In my opinion as long as the government is collecting phone numbers and trying to see patterns of contact and not really looking at the content of the phone calls to me that seems like a very legitimate pursuit.”

Government officials in support of the act are fearful that during this lapse, we are putting ourselves at great risk.

“We have the analogy of a needle in a haystack, it seems like what they are trying to build is build the haystack as big as they possibly can and then find the needle in it, it seems like a hard way to try and go about trying to find someone who is trying to perpetrate an act of terrorism,” said Brown.

“I travel a lot and I really appreciate the anti–terrorism acts of our country in efforts and so forth. If this is one way to keep everyone safe I think it is something we should support because the minute there is a disaster we will be wondering why the government weren’t watchful,” added Larson.