Beverly Goldberg writes:
The U.S. House of Representatives sent Pres. Obama a bill extending three often-contested provisions of the Patriot Act on the evening of February 26, two days before the sections were due to expire. Approved by a vote of 315–97 the night after the Senate passed the bill by voice vote, H.R.< 3961 extends until February 28, 2011 the surveillance sections, which have prompted repeated statements of concern from library organizations and civil-liberties groups. The president is expected to sign the legislation.
Although several lawmakers introduced reform bills last fall, none of them have yet made it to the Senate floor for consideration. The bills sought to reinstitute privacy protections for U.S. citizens by tightening judicial oversight of Section 215, known as the library provision for authorizing the Justice Department to conduct searches of library and bookstore records, in the investigation of suspected terrorist activity.
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