On Thursday, Congress passed the reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act and President Obama signed it electronically, just prior to the sunset date of May 27th. The reauthorization included no reforms to three sections of concern to libraries—Section 215 known as the library provision, lone wolf and wire tap. The new sunset date for the PATRIOT Act is four years from now on June 1, 2015. Several amendments were considered, which is encouraging, but they all failed. Thank you for all of your advocacy efforts. The votes in both the Senate and the House did not fall strictly along party lines. Further analysis of the votes will come from the American Library Association (ALA) at a later time.
Several Senators, including Senator Cardin, have introduced a new bill, S 1125, the USA PATRIOT ACT Improvements Act of 2011, to attempt to make some needed changes. ALA will release more information about this bill after further review.
For more information, please see the District Dispatch posting.