Bin Laden death sparks new talk over Patriot Act

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Associated Press

Posted on May 7, 2011 at 8:01 AM

Updated Saturday, May 7 at 8:04 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some provisions of the Patriot Act expire later this month and Osama bin Laden's death has focused new light on efforts to extend it.

The expiring provisions allow the government to use roving wiretaps and get court-approved access to business records relevant to terrorist probes.

A "lone wolf" provision permits secret intelligence surveillance of non-U.S. individuals without having to show a connection between the target and a specific terrorist group.

The law has been criticized by both liberals and conservatives as infringements on free speech rights.

Some opponents suggest that bin Laden's demise should prompt Congress to reconsider the law.

But Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee access to the "crucial authorities" of the act are more necessary now than ever.

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