Congress has given itself three months to consider changes to provisions of anti-terrorism law that have been valuable in tracking security threats but have drawn fire from defenders of privacy rights.
The House on Thursday followed the Senate in voting to add 90 days to the legal authority for three provisions, including two from the Patriot Act enacted shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks in
President Obama is expected to sign the bill before the provisions expire on Feb. 28.
Lawmakers will now hold hearings on possible changes to the law enforcement tools to guarantee civil liberties. At issue are roving wiretaps to monitor multiple communication devices, government access to business records that might be relevant to terrorist investigations, and secret surveillance of non-American "lone wolf" terrorist suspects.