The Associated Press February 24, 2010; 9:25 PM
WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Wednesday to extend for a year key provisions of the nation’s counterterrorism surveillance law that are scheduled to expire at the end of the month. In agreeing to pass the bill, Senate Democrats retreated from adding new privacy protections to the USA Patriot Act.
The Senate approved the bill on a voice vote with no debate. It now goes to the House.
Three important sections of the Patriot Act are to expire at the end of this month.
One authorizes court-approved roving wiretaps that permit surveillance on multiple phones. A second allows court-approved seizure of records and property in anti-terrorism operations. A third permits surveillance against a so-called lone wolf, a non-U.S. citizen suspected of engaging in terrorism who may not be part of a recognized terrorist group.
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