Bush signs controversial anti-terrorism law

During the signing ceremony, the US President said that the Patriot Act has accomplished exactly what it was designed to do.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2006 12:37 IST

A day before parts of the USA Patriot Act were to expire, President George W Bush signed into law a renewal that will allow the government to keep using terror-fighting tools passed after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Bush's signature came two days after the House gave final approval to the legislation over objections that it infringes on Americans' privacy.

The president said the law has been vital to protecting Americans from terrorists.

"The Patriot Act has accomplished exactly what it was designed to do," Bush said during a signing ceremony on Thursday in the White House East Room.

"It has helped us detect terrorist cells, disrupt terrorist plots and save American lives."

Sixteen provisions of the old law were set to expire today. Political battles over the legislation forced Congress to extend the expiration date twice.

To get the legislation renewed, Bush was forced to accept new curbs on the Patriot Act's powers.

These new civil liberties protections explicitly say for the first time that people who receive subpoenas granted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for library, medical, computer and other records can challenge a gag order in court.

First Published: Mar 10, 2006 11:39 IST