[JURIST] Senators and others critical of the sweeping powers granted to law enforcement autorities under the USA Patriot Act [PDF text] testified Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of a proposed SAFE Act [PDF text] to limit those powers, in particular by requiring government officials to inform suspects of secret searches of their homes or businesses within seven days so long as a judge does not intervene. Defenders of the Patriot Act insist that there have been no civil liberties violations to date under the act, so such restrictions are unwarranted. Some 15 key provisions of the Act expire at the end of 2005 [JURIST report]; Bush administration and top law enforcement officials have called for all of them to be made permanent [JURIST report]. The US Department of Justice maintains a comprehensive Patriot Act website [government advocacy website]; the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security maintains a weblog of commentary on Patriot Act renewal issues. AP has more.