Mark Jaycox and Nadia Kayyali write:
The law that the NSA used to authorize its collection of vast amounts of information about the telephone calls of ordinary Americans is no more. Even though it’s likely temporary, it’s a good thing and we should pause to celebrate a little. The calls and emails Congress received from people across the country and across the political spectrum changed the debate.
The Senate let three provisions of the Patriot Act expire: Section 215, the section the government uses to collect phone and other business records in bulk, the “Lone Wolf provision,” and the “roving wiretap” provision. Section 215 now—at least temporarily—reverts to its pre-Patriot Act form, which doesn’t permit any collection of financial or communications records, and requires the Government to provide “specific and articulable facts” supporting a reason to believe that the target is an agent of a foreign power.
Read more on EFF.