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For Security & Risk Professionals

Quick Take: The Patriot Act Is Dead. Long Live The Patriot Act

Now S&R Pros Around The Globe Need To Understand The Freedom Act

June 3, 2015

Why Read This Brief

President George W. Bush signed the US Patriot Act into law in the wake of the 9/11 disasters in an attempt to rein in money laundering benefiting terrorist organizations and to fix perceived weaknesses in national security. Globally, governments and individual citizens have maligned the Patriot Act and its sweeping government surveillance provisions. Many firms changed their business practices as a result, with many changing Internet hosting and cloud service providers to avoid working with US-headquartered firms. In May 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that bulk collection of telecommunications metadata is illegal. The justices ruled that either the surveillance provisions will expire with no other action from the courts or Congress could pass a law explicitly allowing the bulk collection of the data from Americans. On June 2, Congress hastily passed the US Freedom Act and President Barack Obama quickly signed it into law after key provisions of the Patriot Act expired on Sunday. The Freedom Act is compromise legislation that prohibits the government's bulk collection of metadata on US citizens but preserves surveillance in other forms. In this Quick Take, we provide S&R pros with an overview of the changes and how they will affect your data security and privacy policies.

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