On Wednesday evening, the United States Senate voted in favor to extend the Patriot Act by one year, which authorizes wiretaps surveillance on multiple telephones, seizure of records and the monitoring of non-US citizens who do not have ties to terrorist groups, according to Democracy Now
The law that was put forth under the Bush administration and was passed by a voice vote on Wednesday. If passed by the House of Representatives, the act will expire on Feb. 28, 2011, reports Politico
According to the Associated Press
, the House was set to approve the extension on Thursday and to evoke many other privacy protections approved by the House Judiciary Committee.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy said the provision is a great of example of what can be done if the Republicans and Democrats work together, “But I understand some Republican senators objected to passing the carefully crafted national security, oversight and judicial review provisions in this legislation.”
Republican Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions said any change to the Patriot Act would weaken it, “Recent terror attacks, such as those at Ft. Hood and on Christmas Day, demonstrate just how severe of a threat we are facing. This extension keeps Patriot's security measures in place and demonstrates that there is a growing recognition that these crucial provisions must be preserved.”
The approval has upset many liberals in the US, such as the American Library Association. The group’s chief, Lynne Bradley, said her faction understands the Democratic leadership had to reauthorize the bill “but that doesn't take away the disappointment we have.”