Senate, House Pass Limited Patriot Act Extensions

The Senate and the House each passed short-term extensions of the Patriot Act. The Senate passed a three-month extension while the House extended the provisions until Dec. 8. The extensions included the “lone wolf” provision permitting surveillance of individuals and groups not connected to identified terrorist groups, the “library law” provision granting access to “any tangible items” of individuals under surveillance, and the provision authorizing the FBI’s use of roving wiretaps. A Judiciary Committee hearing on Senator Leahy’s proposal to extend the provisions until 2013 with increased oversight is expected soon. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) opposed efforts to extend the provisions that “undercut important oversight and government accountability of these intelligence gathering tools.” EPIC has in the past urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to require the Attorney General to report to Congress on potentially unlawful investigations. For related information, see EPIC: USA Patriot Act and EPIC: PATRIOT FOIA Litigation.

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