U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she's "very concerned" about what could happen if section 215 of the Patriot Act, set to expire June 1, is not reauthorized by Congress.
“My biggest fear is that we will lose important eyes on people who have made it clear that their mission is to harm American people here and abroad," Lynch said in an interview with CBS.
Section 215 has been the legal basis for the intelligence community’s bulk metadata collection. As HuffPost's Jessica Schulberg and Ryan J. Reilly reported Thursday, the Justice Department’s inspector general found the government failed to properly implement guidelines limiting the amount of data collected on Americans for seven years.
Lynch said she's concerned the U.S. will lose valuable resources for tracking terrorists if the law expires.
"I think that we run the risk of essentially being less safe," Lynch said. "I think that we lose important tools. I think that we lose the ability to intercept these communications [between terrorists], which have proven very important in cases that we have built in the past. I am very concerned that the American people will be unprotected if this law expires.”
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the USA Freedom Act, which would reform aspects of the Patriot Act and put an end to the government’s bulk collection of phone records.
Watch Lynch on CBS above.