Senate Committee Expands PATRIOT Powers
In a closed-door meeting, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to authorize the FBI to write its own orders for the disclosure of any records, including sensitive records about US citizens, in broad and secretive intelligence investigations. The Committee added certain limitations to the so-called "library records" or "business records" provision of the PATRIOT Act, but at the same time rendered those checks and balances meaningless. The controversial PATRIOT Act provision at least required prior court approval. Under the Committee's proposal, FBI agents would no longer need to seek court approval to compel disclosure of sensitive records in intelligence investigations. CDT will continue to urge other Committees and the full Senate and House to reject expansions of the PATRIOT Act.