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Author Topic: Support "Justice Act" to curb "patriot" act abuses!  (Read 1406 times)
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spy1
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« on: September 29, 2009, 10:18:28 AM »

As Congress begins to consider renewing sections of the USA PATRIOT Act that are set to expire at the end of the year, we have a unique opportunity to press for new civil liberties protections to shield ordinary Americans against government spying.

Last week, ten US Senators introduced the perfect vehicle for reform of the surveillance powers in the PATRIOT Act, as well as the much broader and more dangerous FISA Amendments Act (FAA), the warrantless surveillance law that was passed by Congress last summer.

The new bill, called the JUSTICE Act, would add essential new checks and balances to a broad range of surveillance powers. In particular, it would reform the notorious National Security Letter power that allows the FBI, without court supervision, to secretly demand that companies hand over your private phone and Internet records.

Even more important, the JUSTICE Act would add strong new privacy protections to the FAA, which vastly expanded the government's authority to sweep up Americans' phone calls and emails without probable cause or meaningful court review.

The JUSTICE Act would also repeal the immunity for telecommunications companies that illegally assisted in the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program. This would restore the rule of law and allow EFF's suit against AT&T to continue so that the courts can do their job and rule on the legality of the surveillance.

This is our first real shot at meaningful surveillance reform in a long time, but things are moving very quickly. The Senate Judiciary Committee is planning to consider PATRIOT renewal this week. It's crucial that the bill that the committee sends to the Senate floor contains as many of the JUSTICE Act's reforms as possible.

It's time to fix PATRIOT once and for all, and now is our chance. Please contact your senators today and ask them to co-sponsor and support the JUSTICE Act.


https://secure.eff.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=di...tion&id=441
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"When fascism comes to America it will come wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis
spy1
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2009, 01:27:40 PM »

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/11/battl...ill-passes-out-

"After a long two days of legislative battle, the House Judiciary Committee just finished its second day of debate on Chairman Conyers' PATRIOT reform bill, HR 3845 (see our wrap-up of the first day). Thanks in no small part to those of you who used our action alert, the Committee rejected almost all amendments that would have weakened the bill's reforms and voted to recommend the bill to the House floor by a vote of 16 to 10.

Even better, the Committee kept going after it was finished with PATRIOT to consider Representative Nadler's State Secret Protection Act (HR 984), which would reform the state secrets privilege that the government has repeatedly used to try and throw EFF's warrantless wiretapping cases out of court. After an impassioned defense by Mr. Nadler, who described how the government has used the privilege like a "magic incantation" to cover-up wrongdoing and warned that state secrecy "is the greatest threat to liberty at present," the bill passed with even better numbers than the PATRIOT bill, 18 to 12!

It was, to say the least, a busy couple of days in the House Judiciary Committee. If you want the entire blow-by-blow of both day's meetings, check out our Twitter stream at @EFF.

Admittedly, the PATRIOT bill isn't all we had hoped for as we described yesterday, it's been weakened in a number of ways due to quiet pressure from the Obama Administration but it passed through the Committee with most of its major reforms intact, and it is a substantial improvement over the PATRIOT bill approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last month. Meanwhile, the state secrets reform bill made it through the committee without being watered down at all, with only a few technical changes. Thanks and congratulations to the representatives and activists that worked so hard to make that happen.

Eyes now turn to the Senate, where the Senate Judiciary Committee's PATRIOT Bill (S. 1692) will soon land on the floor, and to the House Intelligence Committee, which will soon be marking-up its own competing PATRIOT bill with much fewer reforms (HR 3969). So, the war is far from over. But two important battles were won today."
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"When fascism comes to America it will come wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis
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