David Kravets writes:
The Obama administration is informing Congress it supports renewing three Patriot Act provisions expiring at year’s end, measures making it easier for the government to spy in the United States.
In a letter to Patrick Leahy, the Vermont senator and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department on Monday suggested the administration might consider “modifications” to the act to protect civil liberties.
“The administration is willing to consider such ideas, provided that they do not undermine the effectiveness of these important authorities,” Ronald Weich, assistant attorney general, wrote to the Vermont senator, (.pdf) whose committee is expected next week to consider renewing the three expiring Patriot Act provisions. The government disclosed the letter Tuesday.
Read more about the expiring provisions that Obama wants to renew over the objections of privacy advocates and civil libertarians on Threat Level.
Note that Obama’s position on this is not a flip flop. During his campaign, when asked about the PATRIOT Act, he pointed out what he saw as its advantages and blamed the problems on executive orders.
Photo credit: Bachrach44.