On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-8 to approve legislation to reauthorize expiring provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act and improve oversight of several tools used to gather intelligence.
The USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act reauthorizes three provisions of the Patriot Act that are set to expire at the end of the year: roving wiretaps, the “lone wolf” measure, and Section 215 orders for tangible things, commonly referred to as the “library records” provision.
Instead of adding more protections to the bill, as EFF and the Times have been urging (along with many other Americans who have been organizing Facebook and Twitter activism around PATRIOT reform), the Committee this morning voted to accept seven Republican amendments to the USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act to remove the few civil liberties protections left in the bill after it was already watered down at last Thursday’s Committee meeting. Surprisingly and disappointingly, most of those amendments were recommended to their Republican sponsors by the Obama Administration.
Image credit: mrhox