When the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, the NSA will halt its sweeping collection of Americans’ phone records, in a major victory for civil libertarians who have pushed for the reforms since the program was first revealed by Edward Snowden more than two years ago . . .
National security hawks insist that ending the program will make America less safe by depriving intelligence agents of the ability of connect the dots between suspected terrorists precisely when fears about the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are peaking.
The divide is coming into clear focus on the campaign trail, and promises to be a point of contention so long as public fears about terrorism remain high.
“I believe in the Constitution. I’ve spent my whole life fighting to defend the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, and the federal government has no right to be seizing, collecting and holding the phone metadata of hundreds of millions of law-abiding citizens,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said at a tele-forum hosted by the Washington Examiner this month. (Read more from “Amid New Battle, NSA to Shut Down Phone Records Program” HERE)