The Obama administration wants to extend three key surveillance techniques adopted in the Patriot Act law after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to track terrorism suspects.
They are roving wiretaps to track multiple communications devices an individual may use; access business records; and what’s known as the “lone wolf” provision to watch an individual who may be hatching terror plots but isn’t part of a bigger group. Those three expire Dec. 31.
However, some Senate Judiciary Committee members, including chairman Patrick Leahy, want to add more privacy provisions. Any changes also have to go through the Senate Intelligence Committee which could raise more hurdles.
“It was my thinking simply to extend those three provisions until the Patriot Act is up for reauthorization, which is three years hence,” Dianne Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said during a hearing with FBI Director Robert Mueller. “I believe Senator Leahy will submit a bill that does some other things as well.”