The Obama administration is urging lawmakers to extend three provisions
of the controversial domestic surveillance law known as the USA Patriot
The U.S. Justice Department issued a letter Tuesday
asking Congress to renew provisions of the law that allow authorities
to conduct roving electronic eavesdropping, or wiretaps, access
business records and track so-called "lone wolf" suspects with no known
links to foreign powers or terrorist groups.
The roving wiretaps would let agents track the communications of suspects who change their cell phones or other devices.
The provisions are due to expire on December 31.
lawmakers and civil libertarians have criticized the provisions, saying
they infringe on Americans' right to privacy. The Justice Department
says the administration is willing to consider stronger privacy
protections as long as they do not "undermine the effectiveness" of the
Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat
from the northeastern state of Vermont, who chairs the Senate Judiciary
Committee, says it is important for the administration and Congress to
work to protect both national security and civil liberties.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.