A group of influential Republican senators have introduced a bill to make permanent the civil liberties-corroding provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act that were sold to the public -- and to Congress -- as temporary measures. These provisions are among the most controversial in the Act, and for good reason: they represent an extraordinary assault upon our most basic rights as U.S. citizens. The fact that they expire is one of the only checks on this assault.
Later: Timothy Edgar of the ACLU: "Congress had the foresight to make temporary some provisions of the hastily enacted Patriot Act. It is extremely premature to make these provisions permanent when Congress has not conducted thorough oversight on how the Act has been used and what safeguards can be included to protect civil liberties."