WASHINGTON -- Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, sat down to talk face to face with his fiercest critics in a House office in January.
The visit was more than just a courtesy call. With the legal authority for the NSA's phone data dragnet set to expire June 1, Rogers needs his enemies. Reformers are girding for a fight with congressional leaders, and the looming deadline to reauthorize several Patriot Act provisions gives the former group unprecedented leverage.
This time, "we're in a different moment. ... This is the first reauthorization debate that's happened post-Snowden," said Neema Singh Guliani, a legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, who was referring to whistleblower Edward Snowden's exposure of the spy agency's mass surveillance in 2013.