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UPDATE ~ Deal reached on Patriot Act reauthorization

[JURIST] US House and Senate negotiators announced Thursday that a deal [JURIST report] has been reached on legislation [bill summary] that will reauthorize portions of the USA PATRIOT Act [PDF text; JURIST news archive] set to expire on December 31. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website] said the Senate will vote on the compromise next week. Under the agreement, provisions authorizing roving wiretaps and allowing FBI access to library and business records will be extended for four years, expiring at that time unless Congress acts again. Changes will also be made to the FBI's use of national security letters [PDF sample text; ACLU backgrounder] to gain access to records without a court order or grand jury subpoena. The reauthorization legislation will specify that NSLs can be reviewed by courts and that NSL recipients can inform their lawyers about them. Most other Patriot Act provisions will become permanent under the reauthorization legislation. AP has more.

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