Patriot Act

Patriot Act

Conservative Opposition to PATRIOT Act

Daniel writes "The Washington Times carried an article titled "Patriot Act divides Bush loyalists" describing the intense debate going on within the conservative movement regarding the USA PATRIOT Act and other security legislation.

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TAMPA SAFE & FREE

Kathleen de la Pena McCook writes "After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress very quickly passed the USA PATRIOT Act, even though several members of Congress later admitted that they did not have time to read the Act's 300+ pages of legislation before voting.Tampa: Safe AND Free is an organization of concerned individuals and community groups proposing a resolution to the Tampa City Council to defend our freedoms and rights locally against the USA Patriot Act and other federal assaults against our State and Federal Constitutions.
Details @: tampasafeandfree.org"

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Patriot Act 101

Anonymous Patron writes "The Patriot Act has made the antiwar, mask-wearing, WTO-hating, riot-at-the-drop-of-a-hat crowd more paranoid than ever.
The issue had turned into a hot potato for rogue librarians across the nation. Some were reportedly so frazzled by the thought of the Feds kicking down their doors that they destroyed many library records themselves. Apparently, librarians are an excitable bunch who, when pushed to the edge, aren’t afraid to take the law into their own hands. Thank goodness they use their powers for good rather than evil.
Full Story"

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The Patriot Act Is Your Friend

Wired Is Running A Piece in which Viet Dinh is interviewed. They say he has been called a "political pit bull" and "a foot soldier" for Attorney General John Ashcroft. But the 36-year-old author of the Patriot Act prefers to be called an "attendant of freedom."

"I have the utmost respect for those who engage in this (national conversation), even when I am unfairly maligned because those persons are willing to engage in order to advance the national conversation and contribute meaningfully to our process of governance. Somebody once said that democracy is not a spectator sport. We should all applaud each other for getting into the game and risking injury because of it, because at the end of the day we all win if we do engage."

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Yahoo! News - Patriot Games

An Anonymous Patron writes "Yahoo! News - Patriot Games -

As the government tries to protect you from terrorists, will it invade your privacy? Here's some new technology that's made privacy advocates nervous."

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Ashcroft hospitalized

The Fed that some librarians* love to hate, John Ashcroft, has been hospitalized with pancreatitis, story here from Reuters News Service . Ashcroft is in intensive care for a case of what doctors call a "severe case of gallstone pancreatitis."

*thanks for the suggestion pchuck

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ACLU takes thrashing in USA Today poll report

conservator writes "A report by USA Today of its recent poll of Americans' perceptions of the Patriot Act states, inter alia, that the ACLU's strategy regarding the Patriot Act ("besides targeting Ashroft") is based largely on "revisiting battles it lost when Congress authorized covert wiretaps in criminal cases in 1968, and when it created a secret court in 1978 to oversee domestic spy probes"; that the ACLU Web site "glosses over legal standards for subpoenas, warrants and wiretaps that were set decades ago and makes it seem that the Patriot Act created them"; and that when the ACLU says that FBI agents can spy on people "because they don't like" the books they read or the Web sites they visit, it ignores the fact that the Patriot Act includes language--on the books since 1978--barring the FBI from investigating U.S. citizens "solely" for First Amendment free-speech activities. USA Today also states that its poll "suggests that Americans trust Ashcroft more than the ACLU to balance national security and civil liberties."

When they learn what is in the act, many Americans find some of the details unsettling. The USA TODAY survey of 501 adults Feb. 16-17 found that 71% disapprove of a section that allows agents to delay telling people that their homes have been secretly searched.

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S.F.: If You're Asked, Don't Tell

Wired Reports Following a nationwide backlash by municipalities against the USA Patriot Act, San Francisco will present voters with a ballot measure that proponents say will protect city residents from federal snooping.

Proposition E, which is slated for vote in California's March 2 primary election, would authorize the Board of Supervisors -- instead of individual city workers -- to respond to federal requests for San Franciscans' private records.

"This will protect people's privacy in a direct way," said McGoldrick. "If we get orders from the Bush-Cheney-Ashcroft regime we'll be able to see if any kind of profiling or abuse is being committed."

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The Patriot Act is your friend

Kim Zetter at Wired News interviews Viet Dinh, the Vietnamese-born author of the USA Patriot Act. Dinh has been called a "political pit bull" and "a foot soldier" for Attorney General John Ashcroft. But the 36-year-old creator of the hotly contested USAPA prefers to be called an "attendant of freedom."

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Ashcroft's Subpoena Blitz

Fang-Face writes "Noah Leavitt, of FindLaw.com had an interesting analysis of John Ashcroft's consistent pattern of behaviour reprinted at Alternet.org. The opening paragraphs read:

Over the past two weeks, the Justice Department has issued two intensely controversial sets of subpoenas. The first targeted peaceful demonstrators in Iowa. The second targeted medical caregivers in Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

None of the targets of these subpoenas is alleged to have anything to do with terrorism.

Leavitt looks at two egregious rights violations perpetrated in the name of "security" and then shows how they are part of a slippery slope movement.

I do not trust him, Sam I-am, I will not, cannot, trust this man."

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Campaign for Reader Privacy seeks to amend the USA Patriot Act

The Patriot Act is set to expire next year, however President Bush is pushing for an extension. While some sections of the Act may be needed, Section 215 clearly is not. Section 215 allows federal authorities to obtain records of libraries and bookstores without probable cause for use in "foreign intelligence and international terrorism investigations."

The

Campaign for Reader Privacy is a joint effort of the

American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association and PEN American Center. They want to pass legistation to repeal section 215. Their current goal is "to collect one million signatures. We will begin to present them to members of Congress this spring during meetings in their home districts and in Washington."

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DARPA Work Continues

Despite an outcry over privacy implications, the government is pressing ahead with DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) research to create ultrapowerful tools to mine millions of public and private records for information about terrorists. AP story here. Congress had previously eliminated a Pentagon office run by Ret.Admiral John Poindexter, but now has transfered his "Total Awareness Program" to other government agencies, where it continues full throttle. Patterns of activity of everyday citizens (including which books they check out from their library) are evaluated as clues to potential terrorist threats.

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Bookstores join to fight Patriot Act

An Anonymous Patron writes "A Story On a local NH bookstore owner who is hoping that a national petition drive will encourage lawmakers to amend a section of the USA Patriot Act that allows the FBI to view the buying and borrowing histories of customers.

The Campaign for Reader Privacy, launched by the American Booksellers Association, the American Library Association and the writer’s group PEN American Center, is seeking 1 million signatures in support of amending the federal law, which many store owners say is a violation of privacy."

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Freedom Fighter - Pondering the Patriot Act

An Anonymous Patron points us in the direction of Carolyn Anthony , a freedom fighter in the name of civil liberty.

The article, by Ru Freeman starts off with "You go into the local library, drop off the kids at story hour and browse the Internet while you wait. You follow a couple of leads, track a few sources, read some international takes on American foreign policy. Later that day the FBI pays a visit to your local librarian to check what you read. You are now part of a secret investigation pertaining to "the enforcement of federal laws," none of which you have violated. Unlikely? Carolyn Additon Anthony '71 doesn't think so."

Is this an assault on civil liberties? Read the full story and have your say.

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In bookstores and libraries, support builds for Patriot Act repeal

An Anonymous Patron points us to this story in the Lowell [Mass.] Sun:

In the week since a petition to repeal controversial portions of the USA Patriot Act was placed near bookstore cash registers, an estimated 1,000 Massachusetts residents have added their signatures.

The local sign-in sheets are among the thousands distributed nationwide to independent bookstores and libraries by the Campaign for Reader Privacy. The goal is to collect 1 million signatures in support of overturning section 215.

A bill co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Marty Meehan, a Lowell Democrat, and John Olver, an Amherst Democrat, aims to strike the controversial provision from the law. The bill has the support of 144 House members, both Republicans and Democrats, and is currently before a Judiciary subcommittee on terrorism.

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No trustworthy government here, folks, move along

Fang-Face writes "This doesn't relate directly to the USA PATRIOT Act except that this is the kind of conduct in which the people who will use it engage. I became aware of this story just this afternoon when I got a newsletter digest in my inbox with the story at CBC. So I did a key word search. Here are a few links along with blurbs from the articles they lead to.

CBC News Online:

The lawsuit includes an e-mail from another prosecutor that Convertino says "identified some of the gross mismanagement which was negatively impacting the ability of the United States to obtain convictions in a major terrorist case."

Detroit Free Press:

A federal prosecutor in a major terrorism case in Detroit has taken the rare step of suing Attorney General John Ashcroft, alleging the Justice Department interfered with the case, compromised a confidential informant and exaggerated results in the war on terrorism.

Pioneer Press (Twin Cities):

Eight months after Attorney General John Ashcroft hailed the government's partial victory in a trial against an accused terror cell based in Detroit, the convictions of a former Minneapolis man and two others are in doubt amid growing turmoil within the offices of the federal prosecutor and the FBI here.

I reiterate: I would not buy used car from that person."

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"Misguided souls...hyperventilating over the USA Patriot Act"

ED Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation, feels that many librarians are stressing out over nothing. His commentary at CNSNews.com accentuates the positive aspects. The Patriot Act only applies to terrorist investigations and is actually being applied only rarely. Section 215, for example, has NEVER been used to search library records and "there may well come a time when we need information, and we'll be glad." He concludes with the advice, "next time do a little research before getting worked up over a sensible reform." Read on...

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"left, right meet on Patriot Act"

The Chicago Sun-Times reports on new pending Patriot Act legislation.
There are bipartisan bills now in the Senate designed to curtail the broad powers of the USA Patriot Act. The Protecting the Rights of Individuals Act, proposed by Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, does not repeal any parts of the Patriot Act, but does "limit some of the language that imperils a number of our fundamental liberties". One part of the bill would limit "the FBI's ability to look at sensitive, personal information -- including library and Internet records -- without some specific suspicion", and requires the FBI to meet probable cause before proceeding. Another section of the bill would tighten some loose language allowing political activists exercising their First Amendment rights to be defined as terrorists.

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Librarians ask for partial repeal of Patriot Act

WBBM Newsradio 780 reports on a meeting in Buffalo Grove, IL, between north suburban librarians and library officials and state and federal legislators to discuss among other matters, their concern about the Patriot Act and their customers' rights to privacy. Many signed the nationwide petition to eliminate the part of the Patriot Act that deals with bookstores and libraries. The story includes an audio clip. Read more..

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Hysterical librarian tells her story on AlterNet

Anna writes "Kim Antieau is a public librarian in Washington who has written about the Patriot Act from her perspective as a librarian on AlterNet. She relates a story about trying to explain to a patron why the library can no longer protect her privacy as well as it once could."

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