Senators Leahy, Paul propose expanded oversight of PATRIOT Act
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced an amendment to the PATRIOT Act on Monday that attempts to safeguard American’s civil liberties by increasing oversight of government surveillance powers.
The Leahy-Paul amendment [PDF] requires an expansion of public reporting on the use of surveillance powers granted by the PATRIOT Act. It would also require the government to prove a suspect was linked to a foreign group or power before being able to obtain highly sensitive records.
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner agreed to call for a vote to extend three controversial provisions of the PATRIOT Act before May 27, when they are set to expire, without any change to the legislation.
The bill would extend the “roving wiretap” provision, “lone wolf” measure and “business records” provision until June 1, 2015.
The three provisions allow law enforcement authorities to conduct surveillance without identifying the person or location to be wiretapped, permits surveillance of “non-US” persons for whatever reason, and authorizes law enforcement to gain access to “any tangible thing” during investigations.
[H/T: Pete Kasperowicz]