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Ron Wyden
Choosing between Big Brother and the Bill of Rights
Choosing between Big Brother and the Bill of Rights

Around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, there was a seismic shift in the U.S. Congress. As the Senate deadlocked over what to do about several expiring provisions of the Patriot Act, it became clear that political momentum had moved away from surveillance and secrecy toward freedom and privacy. In a rare and theatrical overnight session, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried and failed to reauthorize or even briefly extend the Patriot Act's surveillance powers before senators left Washington for their weeklong holiday break. At every turn, he was blocked by a bipartisan group of civil libertarians and surveillance skeptics led by presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from...

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