Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

A Senate Committee hearing regarding extending The Patriot Act will take place today.

According to Wired Magazine, the following 3 provisions of The Patriot Act are due to expire:

(1) "A secret court, known as the FISA court, may grant 'roving wiretaps' without the government identifying the target. Generally, the authorities must assert that the target is an agent of a foreign power and/or a suspected terrorist."

(2) "The FISA court may grant warrants for “business records,” from banking to library to medical records. Generally, the government must assert that the records are relevant to foreign intelligence gathering and/or a terrorism investigation."

(3) "A so-called 'lone wolf' provision, enacted in 2004, allows FISA court warrants for the electronic monitoring of an individual even without showing that the person is an agent of a foreign power or a suspected terrorist."

The Obama Administration has expressed that they are in favor of renewing the aforementioned provisions. The American Civil Liberties reportedly opposes this. The Patriot Act is seen by opponents as a gross narrowing of freedoms.

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