Surprise: House Did NOT Automatically Extend The Patriot Act
from the didn't-see-that-coming dept
- House is set to pass PATRIOT Act extension: "The House on Tuesday night was expected to pass a bill to renew for one year certain controversial sections of the USA PATRIOT Act that would otherwise expire this month."
- Patriot Act Extension: A Matter of Timing?: "The House will likely vote this evening to extend three key portions of the Patriot Act, the contentious antiterrorism law passed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks."
- House to pass Patriot Act extension: "The House is expected to approve a short-term extension of expiring parts of Patriot Act Tuesday night, forcing the Senate to tackle questions of how to deal with the counterterrorism surveillance law in the longer term."
Of course, this is hardly the end and it's still widely expected that these provisions will get extended in one way or another. It appears that we don't have any politicians interested in pointing out that these provisions go way beyond what is necessary and legal, so, of course, they'll just get extended again at some point. Still, for a brief moment, it's nice to see that not everyone in Congress would just role over and play dumb at hearing "Patriot Act."
In case you were wondering about the three specific provisions, Wired has a good summary:
- The "roving wiretap" provision allows the FBI to obtain wiretaps from a secret intelligence court, known as the FISA court, without identifying the target or what method of communication is to be tapped.
- The "lone wolf" measure allows FISA court warrants for the electronic monitoring of a person for whatever reason -- even without showing that the suspect is an agent of a foreign power or a terrorist. The government has said it has never invoked that provision, but the Obama administration said it wanted to retain the authority to do so.
- The "business records" provision allows FISA court warrants for any type of record, from banking to library to medical, without the government having to declare that the information sought is connected to a terrorism or espionage investigation.