President Barack Obama, who is attending a summit in France, directed the use of an autopen late Thursday to sign key provisions of the Patriot Act that were due to expire at midnight.Oh well! Two sides to every story! Guess there's NO WAY of figuring out who's right!
By a 250-153 vote, the Republican-led House agreed to extend the expiring provisions of the law passed after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
...One of the three provisions, Section 206 of the Patriot Act, provides for roving wiretap surveillance of targets who try to thwart Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance. Without such roving wiretap authority, investigators would be forced to seek a new court order each time they need to change the location, phone or computer that needs to be monitored.
Another provision, Section 215 of the Patriot Act, allows the FBI to apply to the FISA court to issue orders granting the government access to any tangible items in foreign intelligence, international terrorism and clandestine intelligence cases.
The third provision, Section 6001 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2004, closes a loophole that could allow individual terrorists not affiliated with specific organizations to slip through the cracks of FISA surveillance. Law enforcement officials refer to it as the "lone wolf" provision.
Legislators opposed to the extensions claim that the provisions -- particularly related to wiretapping -- are intrusive and unconstitutional. Supporters argue that they are a critical component of U.S. anti-terror operations.
Hey, remember when Obama was against roving wiretaps and retroactive warrants and the executive branch using debates about national security to expand its own power...? Those were the days.