Patriot Act

Constitution: 1 - USAPA: 0

Fang-Face writes " Things started getting rocky for USAPA along about 27 May when a CIA terrorism expert shot down government arguments about internet postings being a terrorist weapon. Today,
Sami Omar Al-Hussayen was acquitted. A resounding victory for free speech and the free exchange of ideas."

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ALA Opposes Repealing Sunset Clause of Patriot Act

News from Library Journal today that "The American Library Association has issued a statement strongly opposing S.2476, introduced in the United States Senate by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AR). The bill seeks to make permanent those portions of the USA PATRIOT Act set to expire at the end of 2005." President Bush announced his desire to extend those provisions in January's State of the Union address.

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Lehigh University faculty pass resolution on the Patriot Act

The Morning Call reports that the Lehigh faculty resolution does not condemn the law, but that it emphasizes the importance of civil liberties and academic freedoms, as well as making recommendations to the university administration.

" The resolution asks Lehigh's administration to report international students, faculty and staff who are denied visas to teach or study at the university and research that is suppressed for security or political reasons. It calls for the university to post warnings to library, bookstore and computer lab users about the potential for inspection of records and personal information.

The resolution also requests elected officials in Bethlehem and elsewhere to honor the principles of the U.S. Constitution."

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AlterNet: Patriot Act Besieged

Fang-Face writes "Two! -- count them: two! -- contentious issues wrapped up in one neat package. A person whom some of us love to hate,
Nat Hentoff, has a commentary on the USAPA movement, focusing primarily on the swing from "support" to "opposition". There is also some mention about the secrecy inherent in USAPA, and about how it often it is being used according to an Associated Press article. If you hate Hentoff, the indy media (Alternet.org), or are simply fed up with hearing about USAPA, find something else to read."

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Senators seek repeal of PATRIOT Act Sunsets

Daniel writes "Our friends at Secrecy News report that Sen John Kyl of AZ and nine other senators have introduced S. 2476, a bill to repeal the "sunset clause" S. 224 of the USA PATRIOT Act.Here is the text of Sec. 224:"SEC. 224. SUNSET.(a) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subsection (b), this title and the amendments made by this title (other than sections 203(a), 203(c), 205, 208, 210, 211, 213, 216, 219, 221, and 222,and the amendments made by those sections) shall cease to have effect on December 31, 2005.(b) EXCEPTION.—With respect to any particular foreign intelligence investigation that began before the date on which the provisions referred to in subsection (a) cease to have effect, or withrespect to any particular offense or potential offense that began or occurred before the date on which such provisions cease to have effect, such provisions shall continue in effect."It seems like the country could have a better debate on this bill if it were considered AFTER the election. There would still be plenty of time to act prior to Dec 2005."

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Use of Patriot Act Powers Remains Unknown

Fang-Face writes: John Ashscroft has insisted that Section 215 of USAPA hasn't been used, but

the federal government is refusing to prove it
: "In December, the agency argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed because Section 215 had not been used during the time in question. But in a letter dated May 19, Justice Department lawyer Joseph W. LoBue told U.S. District Judge Denise Hood that the agency did not plan to reveal whether any requests for information obtainable under the act had been filed."

The reason given for the refusal is that the DOJ plans to submit a classified report by June 30th to the House and Senate judiciary committees.

Last year, after a scuffle with Ashcroft, who at the time agreed to release this data, ALA president Carla Hayden made the forward-looking statement: "We look forward to learning how the PATRIOT Act is being used in libraries."

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Patriot Act debated at Front Page magazine

conservator writes "Front Page Magazine today hosts a debate on the Patriot Act between City Journal Contributing Editor Heather Mac Donald and Santa Cruz Indymedia Editor Joe Williams. The question at issue is 'Why is the Left waging a ferocious war on the Patriot Act when terrorists are trying to perpetrate more 9/11s on our territory?'"

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Libraries Juggle Privacy Issues

Libraries Juggle Privacy Issues is one from The Harvard Crimson that takes a look at privacy issues.
Concerns about civil liberties sent shock waves through the community of librarians and library users throughout the country. Some librarian organizations have even created a line of sarcastic signs informing patrons that their privacy rights are being violated.

But at the world’s largest academic library, fearful voices have quieted.

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EFF: Let The Sun Set On PATRIOT

Every two weeks The EFF profiles one of the 13 PATRIOT act provisions scheduled to sunset each week and explains in plain language what's wrong with the provision and why Congress should allow it to expire.
They say several provisions can be used against Americans in a wide range of investigations that have nothing to do with terrorism, Others are too vague, jeopardizing legitimate activities protected under the First Amendment. Worse, the Department of Justice has worked to expand and/or make permanent a number of these provisions -- despite the fact that they were sold to the public as "temporary" measures and are scheduled to expire, or "sunset," in December of 2005.

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GOP Senators Balking on Reauthorization of PATRIOT Act

ffirehorse writes "Some insist that there's not a darn thing wrong with the PATRIOT Act, but in that case, why are prominent Republican Senators (including Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter and Idaho's Larry Craig) putting roadblocks in the way of re-upping and adding bells and whistles to the Act (including granting law enforcement the power to force compliance with administrative, not just judicial, subpoenas)? The story comes from Congressional newspaper The Hill."

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