Archive

Posts Tagged ‘PATRIOT Act’

PATRIOT Act extension would add judicial oversight

January 28, 2011 Comments off

Bill would shift next extension away from election year

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced legislation to the Senate Wednesday that would extend expiring provisions of the controversial PATRIOT Act.

“Congress now faces a deadline to take action on the expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act,” Sen. Leahy said in a statement. “The USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act of 2011 will preserve law enforcement and intelligence techniques that are set to expire on February 28, 2011, and extend them to December 2013.”

The legislation, titled “The USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act of 2011,” would extend the roving wiretap provisions, the “lone wolf” measure and the “library records” provision. The provisions allow authorities to conduct surveillance without identifying the person or location to be wiretapped, permits surveillance of “non-US” persons who are not affiliated with a terrorist group, and lets the government gain access to “any tangible thing” during investigations, respectively.

The bill also increases judicial oversight of government surveillance powers, such as requiring authorities to list the facts that justify obtaining a court order and raising the standards for gaining permission to conduct wiretaps.

“While this bill makes important changes to the Patriot Act to increase oversight of its powers, it unfortunately allows many dangerous provisions to continue,” Michelle Richardson, American Civil Liberties Union legislative counsel, said. Read more…