Black People : NeoCons Expired Patriot Act to be Renewed

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Ankhur, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Published on Monday, November 23, 2009 by Inter Press Service
    Obama Quietly Backs Patriot Act Provisions
    by William Fisher
    NEW YORK - With the health care debate preoccupying the mainstream media, it has gone virtually unreported that the Barack Obama administration is quietly supporting renewal of provisions of the George W. Bush-era USA Patriot Act that civil libertarians say infringe on basic freedoms.

    And it is reportedly doing so over the objections of some prominent Democrats.

    When a panicky Congress passed the act 45 days after the terrorist attacks of Sep. 11, 2001, three contentious parts of the law were scheduled to expire at the end of next month, and opponents of these sections have been pushing Congress to substitute new provisions with substantially strengthened civil liberties protections.

    But with the apparent approval of the Obama White House and a number of Republicans – and over the objections of liberal Senate Democrats including Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Dick Durbin of Illinois – the Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to extend the three provisions with only minor changes.

    Those provisions would leave unaltered the power of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to seize records and to eavesdrop on phone calls and e-mail in the course of counterterrorism investigations.

    The parts of the act due to expire on Dec. 31 deal with:

    National Security Letters (NSLs)

    The FBI uses NSLs to compel Internet service providers, libraries, banks, and credit reporting companies to turn over sensitive information about their customers and patrons. Using this data, the government can compile vast dossiers about innocent people.

    The 'Material Support' Statute

    This provision criminalises providing "material support" to terrorists, defined as providing any tangible or intangible good, service or advice to a terrorist or designated group. As amended by the Patriot Act and other laws since Sep. 11, this section criminalises a wide array of activities, regardless of whether they actually or intentionally further terrorist goals or organisations.

    FISA Amendments Act of 2008

    This past summer, Congress passed a law that permits the government to conduct warrantless and suspicion-less dragnet collection of U.S. residents' international telephone calls and e-mails.

    full article;
    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/11/23-6
     
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