This week, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate are set to vote on reauthorization of three key counterterrorism provisions—two found in the PATRIOT Act and one in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. These provisions include:
1.Roving surveillance authority, which is used by investigators, working within the law, to track a suspected terrorist as he or she moves from cell phone to cell phone.
2.Business records orders under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, where business records and similar items are required to be disclosed without a terrorism suspect’s knowledge.
3.The “lone wolf” provision that allows law enforcement to track non-U.S. citizens acting alone to commit acts of terrorism that are not connected to an organized terrorist group or other foreign power.
Without legislative action, all three provisions are set to expire—setting up a big problem for law enforcement and intelligence personnel in terms having the right tools to stop terrorism in the future.