7,676. 2/8/2011

“The US House of Representatives has blocked a bill to extend some surveillance powers granted by the 2001 Patriot Act after the 9/11 attacks. The bill was opposed by most Democrats and some Republicans, and failed to win the two-thirds vote needed for passage. It would have extended until December provisions on wiretaps, access to business records and surveillance of terror suspects granted by the law. …Critics say the broad powers the act grants US law enforcement agencies violate Americans’ privacy, and on Tuesday [February 8, 2011] the American Civil Liberties Union applauded the bill’s rejection. ‘The House should be commended for refusing to rubber stamp the continuation of these provisions,’ Laura Murphy, director of the group’s legislative office, said in a statement. ‘For the nearly 10 years it has been law, the over-reaching Patriot Act has been abused by law enforcement to violate innocent Americans’ privacy.’ ”

 – “House Rejects Extension of ‘Patriot Act’ Powers,” BBC News, Feb. 8, 2011

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