Friday, November 25, 2005

There's still time to stop the Patriot Act

Congress rushed the "Patriot Act" into effect during the days after the Sept 11 terrorist attacks. The law passed with sunset provisions to end on December 31, 2005 unless Congress re-affirms it. Now, a compromise bill that came out of the committee to resolve differences in the Senate and House bills may extend this law assault on American civil liberties.

Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin posted on the DailyKos website that he'll filibuster the compromise version of the Patriot Act Re-authorization. A few Democrat and Repbulican Senators held a press conference saying they have problems with it too. That's a start.

Don't give up our liberties out of fear! Call or write your Representative to Congress and Senators and tell them to vote against re-authorizing the Patriot Act .

The Patriot Act isn't patriotic

The misnamed Patriot Act violates basic American liberties to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, to only be searched under properly executed search warrants (also see following from the Washington Post), and to have freedom of speech. Read the Bill of Rights, Amendment I and IV are pretty clear about Free Speech and search warrants.

The Patriot Act allows the FBI director to get a person's bookstores and library records, including computer usage, and gags anyone from telling about it under threat of criminal prosecution. Read about one librarian's challenge to the Patriot Act.

The Washington Post ran an article a few weeks ago about innocent American's information being swept into government databases with National Security Letters.

The FBI's Secret Scrutiny - In Hunt for Terrorists, Bureau Examines Records of Ordinary Americans
By Barton Gellman, Washington Post Staff Writer, Sunday, November 6, 2005

...The FBI now issues more than 30,000 national security letters a year...The letters -- one of which can be used to sweep up the records of many people -- are extending the bureau's reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans.

Issued by FBI field supervisors, national security letters do not need the imprimatur of a prosecutor, grand jury or judge. They receive no review after the fact by the Justice Department or Congress.

...The burgeoning use of national security letters coincides with an unannounced decision to deposit all the information they yield into government data banks -- and to share those private records widely, in the federal government and beyond. In late 2003, the Bush administration reversed a long-standing policy requiring agents to destroy their files on innocent American citizens , companies and residents when investigations closed.

...The House and Senate bills renewing the Patriot Act do not tighten privacy protections...

(emphasis added)

Read the whole Washsington Post article. With all that's going on in Washington DC it should alarm you. It's like a tale from some J. Edgar Hoover fantasy. A scary nightmare.

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Prompt reply, attribute of mind :)

3/28/2011 6:59 PM  

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