Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner R-Wisconsin quickly ushered in the USA Patriot Act in the wake of the September 2001 terror attacks. But the author of the act, which greatly expanded the government’s spy powers, says the National Security Agency is abusing that law by collecting records of all telephone calls in the United States.While it’s not the first time the Republican has accused the NSA of misusing the act to collect the calling data, it’s the first time he’s invoked his status as a member of the legislative branch to file a court document in a bid to convince the judicial branch to put a halt to the spying.“I stand by the Patriot Act and support the specific targeting of terrorists by our government, but the proper balance has not been struck between civil rights and American security,” Sensenbrenner said in a statement. “A large, intrusive government — however benevolent it claims to be — is not immune from the simple truth that centralized power threatens liberty. Americans are increasingly wary that Washington is violating the privacy rights guaranteed to us by the Fourth Amendment.”
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