Senate committee approves Patriot Act changes

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Associated Press

Posted on October 8, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 8 at 11:37 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a revised version of the nation's major counterterrorism law, the USA Patriot Act. The 11-8 vote Thursday sent the bill to the full Senate.

The legislation governs how law enforcement and intelligence officials can obtain records and conduct surveillance in anti-terrorism investigations.

Three key parts of the current law expire Dec. 31. Several senators said they voted the bill out of committee because of the expiration, but would not support it unless changes are made.

Conservative senators expressed concern that recent revisions may impede counterterrorism operations. Liberals said the bill doesn't go far enough to protect Americans' constitutional rights.

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