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AG Lynch to Senate: Pass USA Freedom Act

Attorney General Loretta Lynch put in a plug for the USA Freedom Act Wednesday (May 27) on her way to announcing indictments against executives involved with FIFA.

Senators are currently trying to find some common ground on the bill, which would at least limit -- some say eliminate -- indiscriminate metadata collection by the NSA, a program revealed by agency leaker Edward Snowden.

The House passed the bill, but the Senate failed to bring it up for an up or down vote and has plans for one more try in a Sunday, May 31, session before the bulk collection authority -- under the Patriot Act -- expires June 1.

"I am deeply committed to ensuring that this nation protects the civil liberties of every American while also keeping our country safe and secure," she said. "Unfortunately, some of the vital and uncontroversial tools we use to combat terrorism and crime are scheduled to shut down on Sunday."

Privacy activists opposed to the bill and the collection would take issue with the term "uncontroversial.”

"The House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan bill, called the USA Freedom Act, that would extend these tools while addressing important and valid concerns about other aspects of the government’s ability to protect data – but without action from the U.S. Senate, we will experience a serious lapse in our ability to protect the American people," Lynch said. "I join the President in urging the U.S. Senate to work through the current recess in order to make sure that we can continue to appropriately safeguard this country and protect its citizens."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.