Your quick history on the Patriot Act -The “USA PATRIOT Act of 2001” is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The act, as a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, significantly weakened restrictions on law enforcement agencies’ gathering of intelligence within the United States; expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; and broadened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts. The act also expanded the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism, thus enlarging the number of activities to which the USA PATRIOT Act’s expanded law enforcement powers can be applied.
On May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011 a four-year extension of three key provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act: roving wiretaps; searches of business records (the “library records provision”); and conducting surveillance of “lone wolves” — individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups.
Ski’s spin: Edward Snowden is a 29 year old “former” contractor with the military contracting juggernaut, Booz Allen Hamilton. Edward started his career with BAH as a high school dropout turned security guard. Snowden worked his way up to a six-figure salary position as an IT systems engineer, administrator and senior advisor for NSA/CIA before turning rogue “whistle-blower-traitorous-IT-geek” and then bugging-out to Hong Kong in an attempt to avoid extradition back to the States for leaking tons of classified documents.
So we are looking at someone with at least a Top Secret, Sensitive Compartmented Information clearance, with unrestricted mainframe access to documents on the classified program that has been gathering technical cell phone data on millions of U.S. citizens operating under the umbrella of the Sunset Patriot Act extension.