The common-sense amendments the Senate hastily rejected were modest in scope and written with the utmost deference to national security concerns. The Senate had months to consider them, but waited until four days before the law was to expire to bring them to the floor, and then used the contrived time crunch to stifle any chances of them passing.
There are an awful lot of things that are on the verge of being all connected together and becoming interrogable. It’s happened in the spook sector already, in bits and pieces. Trapwire, a “threat mitigation system”, uses camera surveillance and data-mining to look for “pre-attack indicators”. Reportedly, it’s not hooked into a facial-recognition system. Of course, if it were, it would probably also be wired to one of the biggest public repositories of tagged faces in the world – Facebook.