Congress approved a four-year extension Thursday to key provisions of the USA Patriot Act, reports the Washington Post. It will allow federal investigators to continue to use aggressive surveillance tactics in connection with suspected terrorists.
Overcoming objections from lawmakers like Senator Ron Wyden (D-ORE), the legislation passed the Senate, 72 to 23, and the House, 250 to 153.
Under the provisions extended into 2015, investigators can obtain court orders to follow suspected terrorists with “roving wiretaps” that cover multiple phone numbers and carriers. They also will extend provisions that allow investigators to seize customer records for suspected terrorists.
There’s a secret Patriot Act, according to Senator Ron Wyden. In a Wired article, Wyden (D-Oregon), says that the U.S. government applies a far broader legal interpretation to the Patriot Act — an interpretation that the government has conveniently classified.