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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
House Votes to Briefly Extend Overbroad Patriot Act Provisions
Congress Will Debate Expiring Provisions and Changes to the Act Next Year
WASHINGTON - December 16 - The House voted today for a 60-day extension of three expiring Patriot Act provisions. The extension came as part of the Defense Department Appropriations Act, which the Senate is expected to pass in the coming week. The expiring provisions of the Patriot Act - the John Doe roving wiretap provision, Section 215 or the "library records" provision and the never before used "lone wolf" provision - all lack proper privacy safeguards. They were up for renewal this year and would have expired on December 31 if Congress did not take action. The provisions will be extended through February 28, 2010.
The following can be attributed to Michael Macleod-Ball, Acting Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office:
"It is disappointing that Congress could not make reforming the Patriot Act a priority this year. Upon the House's return next year, we urge them to debate and vote on the USA Patriot Amendments Act, a bill that goes much further in protecting Americans' civil liberties than its counterparts in the Senate. We genuinely hope that Congress will use the next two months wisely for the kind of vigorous debate Americans' privacy deserves."
For more information about the ACLU's work on the Patriot Act, go to: www.reformthepatriotact.org