The U.S. House and Senate have approved a four year extension of key provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, due to expire at midnight. President Obama is traveling overseas, but will be able to sign the law at the appointed time using a device called the autopen, enacting the law.
The recent success in locating Osama bin Laden has been one powerful example that proponents of the extension have used to illustrate the importance its passage. The abilities granted law enforcement via the USA PATRIOT Act are crucial to maintaining national security, they argue, and played a key role in the terrorist’s demise.
Opponents, including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, fear that the law as it stands could enable the abuse of government power. Sen. Paul has introduced a number of amendments to the USA PATRIOT Act but only two were ever brought to a vote. None passed.
For more information about the USA PATRIOT Act:
By the way, have you ever wondered why all the capitalizing with USA PATRIOT Act? Did you know that PATRIOT stands for:
Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism
Yours in Intellectual Freedom,