(AP) — Sixteen provisions of the USA Patriot Act expire December 31 if not renewed by Congress:
Section 201: Gives federal officials the authority to intercept wire, spoken and electronic communications relating to terrorism.
Section 202: Gives federal officials the authority to intercept wire, spoken and electronic communications relating to computer fraud and abuse offenses.
Subsection 203(b): Permits the sharing of grand jury information that involves foreign intelligence or counterintelligence with federal law enforcement, intelligence, protective, immigration, national defense or national security officials
Subsection 203(d): Gives foreign intelligence or counterintelligence officers the ability to share foreign intelligence information obtained as part of a criminal investigation with law enforcement.
Section 204: Makes clear that nothing in the law regarding pen registers — an electronic device which records all numbers dialed from a particular phone line — stops the government’s ability to obtain foreign intelligence information.
Section 206: Allows federal officials to issue roving “John Doe” wiretaps for spy and anti-terrorism investigations.
Section 207: Increases the amount of time that federal officials may watch people they suspect are spies or terrorists.
Section 209: Permits the seizure of voicemail messages under a warrant.
Section 212: Permits Internet service providers and other electronic communication and remote computing service providers to hand over records and e-mails to federal officials in emergency situations.
Section 214: Allows use of a pen register or trap and trace devices — a device that records the originating phone numbers of all incoming calls on a particular phone line — in international terrorism or spy investigations.
Section 215: Authorizes federal officials to obtain “tangible items” like business records, including those from libraries and bookstores, for foreign intelligence and international terrorism investigations.
Section 217: Makes it lawful to intercept the wire or electronic communication of a computer hacker or intruder in certain circumstances.
Section 218: Allows federal officials to wiretap or watch suspects if foreign intelligence gathering is a “significant purpose” for seeking a Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act order. The pre-Patriot Act standard said officials could ask for the surveillance only if it was “the” sole or main purpose.
Section 220: Provides for nationwide service of search warrants for electronic evidence.
Section 223: Amends the federal criminal code to provide for administrative discipline of federal officers or employees who violate prohibitions against unauthorized disclosures of information gathered under this act.
Section 225: Amends FISA to prohibit lawsuits against people or companies that provide information to federal officials for a terrorism investigation.