Political Notebook: Burr introduces Patriot Act alternative
Published 12:10 am Saturday, May 23, 2015
As Congress looks to reform or reauthorize a controversial section of the Patriot Act — singed into law shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. —U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, has come up with his own solution to differences in opinion on the future of the controversial measure.
Burr, chairman of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, on Friday released details of a measure called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Improvements Act of 2015.
In a news release, Burr said his bill incorporates portions of the USA Freedom Act, which received unanimous support from U.S. Representatives with districts in Rowan when it passed the U.S. House earlier this month. At its core, the USA Freedom Act prevents the National Security Agency from collecting metadata of phone calls, such as the number and duration. Instead, the house’s bill would keep metadata in the hands of private companies.
In a news release, Burr said his bill better supports national security extending the transition period of metadata from the NSA to private telephone companies.
“It’s clear that the USA Freedom Act doesn’t protect our national security as well as it should, so I’m providing a framework to plug the holes in the bill,” Burr said in the release.
Provisions included in Burr’s bill are:
• ending bulk collection of telephone call information on June 30, 2017
• allows for outside experts into the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has authority to grant or deny requests for surveillance warrants against suspected terrorists.
• permits the NSA to continue surveillance of terrorists who enter the U.S. for 72 hours while it looks to get further authority from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
• Permitting surveillance of domestic targets, even if they leave the United States
A key section of the Patriot Act is set to expire on June 1, which has prompted discussion.
McCrory signs tanning bill into law
Starting in October, most teens will have to wait a few years to hop in a tanning bed.
Gov. Pat McCrory has signed the Jim Fulghum Teen Skin Cancer Prevention Act into law. The law prohibits business owners and operators from allowing anyone under the age of 18 from using tanning beds. The bill goes into affect on Oct. 1.
Previously, state law prevented anyone under 13 from using a tanning bed. However, written prescription from the person’s medical physician previously allowed children under 13 to use tanning beds.
The bill was named after a former state legislator who died in 2014 after a short battle with cancer.