US officials, civil libertarians disagree on possible consequences if surveillance laws lapse

Barring a last-minute deal in Congress, three post-Sept. 11 surveillance laws used against spies and terrorists are set to expire when Sunday turns into Monday.

Will that make Americans less secure?

Depends on who's asked.

The answer from Obama administration officials — absolutely.

The answer from civil liberties activists — nonsense.

There are compelling arguments on both sides. But it's clear that the government will face new barriers in domestic national security investigations at a time when intelligence officials say the threat at home is growing.