While on the trail, candidate Barack Obama promised that he "would revisit the PATRIOT Act to ensure that there is real and robust oversight of tools like National Security Letters, sneak-and-peek searches, and the use of the material witness provision." As president, Obama can’t be bound to anything tricky like the Constitution let alone his word. The Obama Administration had sought to keep the most controversial provisions including law enforcement access to library and book store records without probable cause, expanding the definition of "agent of a foreign power" to include almost anyone and allows "roving wiretaps."
According to columnist Jason Ditz, "Congressional leadership from both houses and both parties today reached a deal on a long-term extension of the Patriot Act, exactly as worded and without any of the inconvenient civil rights provisions that the Obama Administration has been warning against."
Not that promises of a (incoming) president are worth much. Why would a Bush or an Obama relinquish the power to essentially search anyone anywhere? As Liberty for All editor R. Lee Wrights notes, "The American president not only has far greater power than anyone in human history, he has no rival, no legal, Constitutional, moral or political force willing to check him."
Neither would I. Just another reason to consider a Libertarian at the polls.