Senate extends provisions of Patriot Act
Gives lawmakers time to discuss the future of the law enforcement tools that some call an infringement on civil liberties
By Jim Abrams
WASHINGTON — The Senate has voted to extend roving wiretap authority and other provisions of anti-terrorism law for 90 days, giving lawmakers more time to discuss the future of the law enforcement tools that some consider an infringement on civil liberties.
The Senate vote to extend three terrorism-fighting tools for three months comes a day after the House approved an extension until Dec. 8. The two chambers must now agree on a common time period before the three USA Patriot Act-related provisions expire on Feb. 28.
In addition to roving wiretaps for multiple electronic devices, the provisions deal with court-approved access to business records and surveillance of non-U.S. "lone wolf" suspects without known ties to terrorist groups. Senate Democrats are working on a multi-year extension plan that tightens oversight of the measures.