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Police Say State Surveillance Intact Despite Patriot Act Expiration

Steve Baker

State police say the lapse of Patriot Act surveillance provisions has no direct impact on intelligence gathering at the state level. The Patriot Act clarified and expanded rules for federal eavesdropping, not state and local departments. State Police do operate a so-called "fusion center" which receives and coordinates intel from all levels, including federal, but spokesman Dave Bursten says any effect from the Patriot Act would be indirect.

"The Patriot Act never granted any specific criminal investigative or criminal intelligence collection authority to state or local law enforcement, so the expiration of the act will not have a direct impact on the day-to-day operations of the state police" Bursten says.

Even if there were, he says it likely couldn‘t be disclosed publicly. Congress is expected to pass a bill ending the surveillance outage before the week is out. Bursten declined to speculate on just how much difference those few days make.

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