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Senator vows to reform the PATRIOT Act

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/23/senator-vows

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 -- 10:37 pm

A Democratic senator from Oregon said Tuesday that Congress must use the three month extension of the PATRIOT Act to amend the legislation so that it does not violate American's civil liberties.

"Americans deserve laws that strike the best possible balance between fighting terrorism ferociously and protecting the rights and freedoms of law-abiding American citizens," Senator Ron Wyden, a senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a statement.

Congress passed a bill last week that extended three controversial provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act until May 27.

The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Barack Obama in the coming days.

"The Patriot Act does not strike that balance," he continued. "It was written and passed six weeks after the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history. Congress wisely included sunset dates for the Patriot Act’s most controversial provisions, so that they could be thoughtfully considered at a later time. After ten years, it is clearly time for that debate."

Last week, Sen. Wyden introduced a bill to narrow the PATRIOT Act's section 215 provision, which allows law enforcement to obtain "any tangible thing," including library and bookstore records.

Under the PATRIOT Act, that information can be obtained without demonstrating that the person whose records are sought is connected to terrorism in any way.

"Government agents should not be able to collect this sort of information on law abiding American citizens without showing that they have at least some connection to terrorism or other nefarious activities," Sen Wyden said.

Wyden's bill would force law enforcement to demonstrate that the records were in some way connected to terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities before gathering the information.

"Senator Wyden should be commended for his effort to narrow the Patriot Act’s reach," ACLU Legislative Counsel Michelle Richardson said. "Holding law enforcement accountable for how it uses its authority will not only help to protect Americans’ privacy, it will ultimately keep us safer. We hope the Senate will strongly consider this bill in the next three months as it moves forward with debate on Patriot Act."

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has also recently sought to reform the PATRIOT Act by increasing judicial oversight of government surveillance powers.

"I support strengthening oversight while providing the intelligence community the certainty it needs to protect national security," Sen Leahy said. "The bill I hope we will consider before May 27 would give the intelligence community the certainty it needs by extending these expiring authorities while also strengthening congressional and judicial oversight."


Added: Feb-23-2011 Occurred On: Feb-23-2011
By: Finding_His_Place
In:
LiveLeaks
Tags: patriot act, congress, extension, america, liberty, liberty, rights, us, usa, constitution
Views: 6924 | Comments: 13 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • Comment of user 'Gusr' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • The Patriot Act and the formation of the DHS is the greatest assault on American Freedoms ... ever.
    Can't believe that lying POS Obama want s to extend it.

    Posted Feb-24-2011 By 

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  • Cool beans, lets hope this happens just as fast as Neo-Cons are handling healthcare reform. Oh shit wait, tha'll be close to never.

    Posted Feb-24-2011 By 

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  • reforming or ending the patriot act won't fix anything. Saying he's going to dismantle the DHS and reform the FBI and CIA like they should have instead of plopping a whole new expensive department on them without fixing their existing problems, now that would get my hopes up.

    But it won't happen, now that they have the power to spy on anyone they want and do anything they want without due process, they're not going to just give it up.

    Posted Feb-24-2011 By 

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  • I agree with the end the PC crap. The more I think about what Americans have to go through to fly today just amazes me. Not a single American has blown up an airliner, but a bunch of Islamic nutjobs did, and continue to try to do so, so why is it we have to undergo an intrusive search before we board an aircraft...it's unreasonable in the truest sense.

    Stop the BS and search the right people.

    Posted Feb-24-2011 By 

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    • exactly who are the right people?

      Posted Feb-24-2011 By 

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    • Comprehension skills got you down...no worries, read it again, I'm pretty sure it's in the comment.

      Posted Feb-24-2011 By 

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    • i can comprehend your ignorance just fine. i was just wanting to see if you were able to see it for yourself. terrorist come in all races and colors.

      Posted Feb-27-2011 By 

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    • You are right. I know a group of environmental whackjobs that need to be on a list right now...lol. All races and colors...hehehe. That's funny. Cause we American's are really worried about the IRA, or any number of terrorist groups that we do not support. But only one of those is actively trying to do us harm. They happen to be of Middle Eastern decent, predominately Muslim, and they all hate America. I think it would be pretty easy to identify those individuals at an airport without having to More..

      Posted Feb-27-2011 By 

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    • you obviously spend alot of time on LL. tell me i'm not the only one ready timothy mcveigh like comments on here.

      doing things the right way means checking everyone, doing things the easy way means picking and choosing who you think is a terrorist just because they were born in a certain part of the world.

      Posted Feb-28-2011 By 

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  • I voted for the guy.
    It ain't a fix all but it's a start.

    Posted Feb-24-2011 By 

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  • ready = reading. sorry.

    Posted Feb-28-2011 By 

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