In September 2009, Russ Feingold, the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act when it was first proposed, released a statement expressing concern that critical information about the way it was being used hadn't been released, "information that I believe would have a significant impact on the debate." He singled out "information about the use of Section 215 orders that I believe Congress and the American people deserve to know," adding that "before we decide whether and in what form to extend these authorities, Congress and the American people deserve to know at least basic information about how they have been used." (Section 215 allows the government to use the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to compel businesses to turn over certain information.) Congress ought to add limits to the bill "that allow agents to actively pursue criminals, terrorists and spies, but that also protect the privacy of innocent Americans," Feingold said, or else more privacy abuses would happen.
On October 1, 2009, the Wisconsin senator issued an additional warning about Section 215 during a Senate Judiciary hearing: "Mr. Chairman, I am also a member of the intelligence Committee. I recall during the debate in 2005 that proponents of Section 215 argued that these authorities had never been misused. They cannot make that statement now. They have been misused. I cannot elaborate here. But I recommend that my colleagues seek more information in a classified setting."