On February 17, 2011, the US House of Representatives voted 279-143 to extend three surveillance provisions of the USA Patriot Act through May 27, 2011. A similar extension had been approved by the Senate the previous day. Passed in 2001 after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the Act was set to expire at the end of the month. The three provisions allow federal authorities to conduct "roving" wiretaps, compel the production of business, medical and library records, and designate suspects as "lone wolf" agents if they are not affiliated with a recognized terrorist group. The renewal was supported by the Obama administration and the Department of Justice (DOJ). On May 27, 2011, the Act was extended through 2015 when President Obama signed the bill minutes before the extensions were set to expire.
Read comprehensive coverage on the legal legacy of 9/11 in Features.