Submitted by Blake on February 28, 2006 - 1:44pm
According To The NY Sun Two federal judges in Florida have upheld the authority of individual courts to use the Patriot Act to order searches anywhere in the country for e-mails and computer data in all types of criminal investigations, overruling a magistrate who found that Congress limited such expanded jurisdiction to cases involving terrorism.
Submitted by Blake on February 24, 2006 - 8:26pm
The Elgin Courier News - Elgin,IL - has an Interesting Look At patron privacy. Libraries in the area have recently tightened Internet access. Many libraries that formerly allowed visitors to simply walk up to a computer and surf the Internet now mandate that patrons first punch in identifying information, such as their library card number, before accessing the Internet.
Library employees cite this as an example of keeping up with the times and increasing patron convenience.
However, they say, it also raises privacy concerns, an issue that was spotlighted when the U.S.A. Patriot Act â€” which expanded the government's authority to fight terrorism â€” was adopted in October 2001.
Submitted by Blake on February 16, 2006 - 8:52pm
The Senate brushed aside an attempt to block renewal of the antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act today, voting 96 to 3 against changes urged by Senator Russell D. Feingold, the act's most persistent critic.
The House has already voted to renew the Patriot Act. But the law met stiff resistance from some senators of both parties. Modifications to the statute in recent weeks have satisfied the overwhelming majority of the senators.
Submitted by Ryan on February 11, 2006 - 11:13pm
Submitted by rochelle on February 10, 2006 - 2:33am
According to this CNN story
A band of Senate Republican holdouts reached agreement Thursday with the White House on changes in the Patriot Act designed to clear the way for passage of anti-terror legislation stalled in a dispute over civil liberties.
Included in the compromise is a clarification that most libraries are not subject to requests for information about suspected terrorists in National Security Letters. Russ Feingold, (D-WI) is not impressed in the least, and says that the compromises are not particularly significant.
Submitted by Blake on February 2, 2006 - 4:46am
Reuters Is One PLace reporting the House of Representatives agreed on Wednesday to a second brief extension of key provisions of the anti-terrorism USA Patriot Act while lawmakers try to settle differences over civil liberties.
First passed after the September 11 attacks, the act expanded the power of federal authorities on such fronts as wiretaps and secret searches. With a number of provisions set to expire on Friday, the House approved a measure on a voice vote to extend them until March 10.
Submitted by Blake on January 18, 2006 - 4:43am
Search-Engines writes "Prominent Journalists, Nonprofit Groups, Terrorism Experts and Community Advocates Join First Lawsuit to Challenge New NSA Spying Program.
Saying that the Bush administration's illegal spying on Americans must end, the American Civil Liberties Union today filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the National Security Agency seeking to stop a secret electronic surveillance program that has been in place since shortly after September 11, 2001.
THe ACLU Site Explains"
Submitted by Blake on January 16, 2006 - 2:36am
Submitted by Curmudgeony on January 6, 2006 - 3:15am
Tom Owad over at Applefritter.com presents an interesting look at privacy, data mining, and Amazon.com wish lists in an article entitled Data Mining 101: Finding Subversives with Amazon Wishlists.
The article, while technical, shows the frightening and fascinating results of a small-scale data mining operation. Using public domain tools and without violating the Amazon terms of service, Mr. Owad was able to collect and correlate the addresses and potential reading interests of hundreds of persons. This article is sobering and--without hyperbole--a must read.
Submitted by Blake on December 30, 2005 - 3:21am
The Boston Globe says Clyde Barrow, head of policy studies at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth wants the university to suspend a student who made up a story about being grilled by federal antiterrorism agents over a library book and to reprimand faculty members who spread the tale.
Submitted by birdie on December 22, 2005 - 11:56pm
The House of Representatives agreed to extend a controversial domestic surveillance law this afternoon, but it limited the extension to one month and rejected a carefully brokered compromise from the Senate that had given the law a six-month reprieve. Looks like the Republicans will not get their automatic four year extension as hoped. News from the Washington Post .
Submitted by John on December 21, 2005 - 4:17pm
The original newspaper source that broke the DHS-ILL monitoring story has a follow-up report today. New quotes include: "The UMass Dartmouth Library has not been visited by agents of any type seeking information about the borrowing patterns or habits of any of its patrons," and, "the student and his parents have made it clear to The Standard-Times that they do not want to discuss what happened." Sounds like the Kerri Dunn case, don't it?
Submitted by Dan G. on December 18, 2005 - 1:47am
kathleen writes "WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 - Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.--New York Times.
The Washington Post states:
The revelations come amid a fierce congressional debate over reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Patriot Act granted the FBI new powers to conduct secret searches and surveillance in the United States.....Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies at George Washington University, said the secret order may amount to the president authorizing criminal activity...."This is as shocking a revelation as we have ever seen from the Bush administration," said Martin, who has been sharply critical of the administration's surveillance and detention policies. "It is, I believe, the first time a president has authorized government agencies to violate a specific criminal prohibition and eavesdrop on Americans.""
Submitted by birdie on December 16, 2005 - 8:34pm
Contrary to the wishes of President Bush and the Executive branch, the Senate has refused to approve the extension of the Patriot Act that recently won victory in the House of Representatives. Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin pictured in this ABC News story lead the filibuster. If an extension is not voted in, the Act in its entirety will expire on the last day of the year, but investigators will still be able to pursue any
investigations begun before that time.
Another longer story in eweek offers several Senators explains for their actions: " "I went to bed last night unsure how to vote on this legislation," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "Today's revelation that the government listened in on hundreds of phone conversations without getting a warrant is shocking. There ought to be discussion. There ought to be debate."
Calling the secret order an example of "Big Brother run amok," Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., said that more oversight of police powers is needed.
"For past three years this administration has been eavesdropping on hundreds of calls without warrants or oversight," Kennedy said. "This administration feels it is above the law."
Submitted by Blake on December 15, 2005 - 6:37pm
Charles Greenberg writes "Yesterday I heard the NPR description of FBI frustrations with getting kicked around by "radical militant librarians" that are aiding terrorism by questioning the provisions of the Patriot Act, having to do with secretly obtaining library circulation records. See the email source for this phrase (paid for with our tax dollars).
Seeing an entrepreneurial opportunity, I have captured one definition of radical militancy on a boutique of active/casualware for one type of radical militant.
Don't forget to view the back of the shirt to see my definition.
It only takes about 20 minutes to set up a site like this, including the graphic.
Unabashedly, all profits go toward future college expenses for two less radical children...."
Submitted by Blake on December 15, 2005 - 4:11pm
Cabot writes "The Canadian Press reports that the Government of Canada has drafted a proposal that would allow government departments to immediately cancel a contract with an American firm if it hands personal information about Canadians to U.S. anti-terrorism investigators."
Submitted by Blake on December 14, 2005 - 10:29pm
Reuters is one place reporting The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday to renew the USA Patriot Act, setting up a showdown with the Senate over a centerpiece of President George W. Bush's war on terrorism.
On a 251-174 vote, the House approved the measure, with supporters saying it would properly balance civil liberties with the need to bolster national security.
But a number of Democrats and Republicans vowed to oppose the legislation in the Senate, which is expected to take up the bill in coming days.
For those of you who want to attempt to affect the vote in the Senate, you might want to check out this call to action from Bookselling This Week (American Booksellers Association), which details how to contact your Senators prior to the Friday vote.
Submitted by Blake on December 14, 2005 - 9:24pm
NDP House Leader and Justice Critic Kevin Deveaux is calling on the Minister of Justice, Michael Baker, to release his Department's plans for protecting Nova Scotians who have personal information stored in American data bases - accessible to the Federal Bureau of Investigation under section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. Are Nova Scotians more dangerous than Quakers? Only time will tell.
Meanwhile, the final battle is being fought right now in Washington. Senate Republicans and the Bush administration took the offensive Tuesday against critics of the Patriot Act, saying on the eve of an expected vote that Congress must renew the law for four years. But reauthorization may be hitting snags in the Senate, where some GOP and Democratic senators are dissatisfied with a compromise worked out last week between key Republicans in the House and Senate.
Submitted by Bill Drew on December 13, 2005 - 4:04pm
NPR and the NY Times both have reports today on the top secret FISA courts, FBI, and radical, militant librarians. The FBI is whining about "radical, militant librarians." Lets all wear that label proudly! Be sure to contact your senators and representatives in Congress to vote against the compromise bill for renewal of the Patriot Act. It is time to keep our eyes and ears open and let the world know that librarians are a strong group and are radical in our support of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
Radical, Militant Librarians: from NY Times--
One internal F.B.I. message, sent in October 2003, criticized the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review at the Justice Department, which reviews and approves terrorist warrants, as regularly blocking requests from the F.B.I. to use a section of the antiterrorism law that gave the bureau broader authority to demand records from institutions like banks, Internet providers and libraries.
"While radical militant librarians kick us around, true terrorists benefit from OIPR's failure to let us use the tools given to us," read the e-mail message, which was sent by an unidentified F.B.I. official. "This should be an OIPR priority!!!"
Submitted by Blake on December 12, 2005 - 9:52pm
Fang-Face writes "There was an article by Eric Lichtblau of The New York Times, for Sunday 11 December 2005, titled
At FBI, Frustration Over Limits on an Antiterror Law, reprinted at TruthOut.org. In it, Lichtblau reports on how FBI agents are simply twitchy about using S.215. Interestingly enough, it seems to be field agents who are chafing at restrictions administration officials seem reluctant to lift. Lichtblau's allegations of agents wanting to run riot with S.215 are supported by internal FBI e-mails. One e-mail reads in part: "While radical militant librarians kick us around, true terrorists benefit from OIPR's failure to let us use the tools given to us," . . ."