Senate Panel Approves Patriot Act Extensions
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a
three-year extension of three post-Sept. 11 surveillance practices
but voted to end another one. The panel opposed an investigative
tool, known as national security letters, that compels businesses
to turn over customer records without a judge's orders.
The legislation also includes new privacy and civil liberty
safeguards for the Patriot Act provisions.
The measure, sponsored by committee Chairman Patrick Leahy,
would extend through 2013 the use of roving wiretaps on multiple
electronic devices. It also would extend authority to obtain
court-approved access to business records considered relevant to
terrorist investigations and secret surveillance of non-American
"lone wolf" suspects not linked to specific terrorist groups.
It now goes to the full Senate. Without congressional action,
the three provisions will expire on May 27.