Obama signs temporary extension of Patriot Act

The Associated Press
Friday, February 25, 2011; 5:21 PM

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama has signed a three-month extension of key surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act.

The law extends two areas of the 2001 act. One provision allows law enforcement officials to set roving wiretaps to monitor multiple communication devices. The other allows them to ask a special court for access to business and library records that could be relevant to a terrorist threat.

A third provision gives the FBI court-approved rights for surveillance of non-American "lone wolf" suspects - those not known to be tied to specific terrorist groups.

Obama signed the three-month extension of the provisions Friday. They were to expire Monday.

Lawmakers will soon start debating a multiple-year extension of the provisions, which have drawn fire from defenders of privacy rights.

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© 2011 The Associated Press