The Hill: Sens. Leahy, Paul seek to modify Patriot Act extension with oversight provisionsSubmitted by legalizeliberty on Mon, 05/23/2011 - 16:47
Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) this week will seek to modify a House-Senate agreement that would extend three expiring Patriot Act surveillance authorities by including more government oversight of these authorities and sunsetting the use of national security letters (NSL) as a basis for justifying intelligence gathering.
Leahy and Paul on Monday announced their amendment to S. 1038, on which the Senate is expected to hold a cloture vote Monday evening. The bill reflects the House-Senate agreement to extend the three authorities until June 1, 2015, without any additional conditions placed on these techniques.
The bill extends the ability of U.S. intelligence authorities to conduct roving wiretaps, gain access to business records and survey "lone-wolf" operators, authorities that expire at the end of this week. The Leahy-Paul amendment would require inspector general audits of how these authorities are used, expand reporting requirements on their use and require more efforts by the government to justify their use.