Obama Signs Reauthorization of Three Patriot Act Provisions
By Stephanie Woodrow | February 27, 2010 5:51 pm

President Barack Obama on Saturday signed into law legislation that would temporarily extend three controversial provisions of the Patriot Act that had been set to expire.

The House took final congressional action on the measure on Thursday, voting 315-97 to keep in place the Patriot Act’s “lone wolf,” business records and “roving wiretap” powers until Feb. 28, 2011. The Senate had passed the bill by voice vote Wednesday night.

Here is a summary of the provisions that were due to expire:

  • Lone wolf: Allows the government to track a target without any discernible affiliation to a foreign power, such as an international terrorist group. The provision applies only to non-U.S. persons. The government has never used it.
  • Business records: Allows investigators to compel third parties, including financial services and travel and telephone companies, to provide access to a suspect’s records without the suspect’s knowledge.
  • Roving wiretaps: Allows the government to monitor phone lines or Internet accounts that a terrorism suspect may be using, regardless of whether others who are not suspects also regularly use them. The government must provide the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court with specific information suggesting a suspect is purposely switching means of communication to evade detection.


  1. [...] Main Justice: Obama Signs Patriot Act Reauthorization Stephanie Woodrow – 2/27/2010 [...]

  2. [...] reauthorized the Patriot Act, extending some provisions that were set to expire. President Obama signed the bill into law on Saturday night when his cowardly act would be least likely to be noticed. From the ACLU [...]

  3. NoChange says:

    Obama signs this into law on a Saturday – the slowest news day other than Friday.

    But why should we be surprised?

    Obama & fellow Dems, given that they have 59 in the Senate and the majority of the House, could have forced the Repubs to have to stick it out and REALLY have to filibuster changes to certain provisions in the Patriot Act (that would have given more privacy protections). But Obama & fellow Dems had no intention of putting up a fight.

    Again, why should we be surprised?

    Obama campaigned heavily on ending indefinite detention without trial, but he has flip-flopped on that. Obama also campaigned heavily on ending the use of warrantless wiretaps; but since being elected, he has defended the use of warrantless wiretaps.

    And Bagram Air Base has now been dubbed “Obama’s Guantanamo.”

    Some “hope” and “change” all right….

The Senate Democratic leader describes the Republicans' refusal to hold hearings on President Obama's eventual Supreme Court nominee "historically unbelievable and historically unprecedented."

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