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House debates extensions of Patriot Act provisions

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House is debating whether to extend for nine months three of the surveillance tools in the nation's post-Sept. 11 anti-terror law.
An extension would give Congress more time to discuss how to best combat terrorist threats without encroaching on civil liberties.
Congress must act on the three provisions before they expire on Feb. 28. The Senate is considering several longer-term approaches to the future of the USA Patriot Act.
Sections to be renewed include court-approved roving wiretaps and the so-called library records provision that gives the FBI court-approved access to "any tangible thing" relevant to a terrorism investigation. The third deals with the surveillance of suspected "lone-wolf" terrorists not tied to specific terrorist organizations.
Patriot Act critics say the provisions lack basic privacy safeguards.


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