President Obama Signs One-Year Extension of Patriot Act
With the expiration of several provisions in the Patriot Act nearing on Sunday, President Barack Obama signed a one-year extension on Saturday. The act, which was adopted in the weeks following the infamous September 11, 2001 terror attacks in Washington D.C. and New York, expands the U.S. government's ability to monitor Americans in the name of counter terrorism and national security.
The three sections of the Patriot Act that Obama agreed to extend:
- Authorize court-approved roving wiretaps that permit surveillance on multiple phones.
- Permit surveillance against a so-called lone wolf, which is a non-US citizen engaged in terrorism who many not be part of a recognized terrorist group.
- Allow court approved seizure of records and property in anti-terrorism operations
On Thursday, the House voted 315 to 97 to extend the measure. The Senate also approved the measure, however, they cast aside privacy protections when the Senate Democrats did not have the 60 vote supermajority needed to pass them. They had hoped to pass restrictions and greater scrutiny on the government's authority to spy on Americans and seize their records.