Obama extends US Patriot Act
US Pres. Barrack Obama was beside himself in signing a law that he had long been pushing--a four-year extension to three provisions of the US Patriot Act. This is despite opposition from within Congress and civil rights advocates. He signed the law through an autopen machine minutes before it expired on May 27, while he was in France attending a G8 meeting.
The extended provisions allow the US government to procure secret court orders to subject anything to surveillance, among them telephone conversations, exchanges over the internet and business records that it believes are important in investigating terrorism; use unlimited "roving" wiretaps to surveil any telephone number, email account or other communications facility that it believes is being used by its target; and use "lone wolf" wiretapping which allows government to surveil any individual who is not connected to a foreign power or terrorist group.
The US Patriot Act was approved after the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001. Since its enactment, there have been numerous violations of the rights of ordinary Americans.