The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has managed to obtain a copy of a draft bill that will renew and broaden various USA PATRIOT Act powers. The
draft will be considered in a closed session by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence tomorrow.
Bill Gives Justice Department More Power to Demand Private Records
On Thursday, May 26, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will consider in closed session a draft bill that would both renew and expand various
USA PATRIOT Act powers. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has obtained a copy of the draft bill, along with the committee's summary of it, and
has made them available to journalists and interested citizens on its website, www.eff.org...
"Even though Congress is still debating whether to renew the broad surveillance authorities granted by the original USA PATRIOT Act, the Justice
Department is already lobbying for even more unchecked authority to demand the private records of citizens who are not suspected of any crime," said
Kevin Bankston, EFF attorney and Equal Justice Works/Bruce J. Ennis Fellow. "The Senate's intelligence committee should focus on adding checks and
balances to protect against abuse of already-existing PATRIOT powers, or repealing them altogether, rather than working to expand them behind closed
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Rumours of a "PATRIOT ACT II" have been floating around for a couple of years now. In 2003, the Department of Justice under John Ashcroft drafted a
bill named the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003". The document was obtained by the Center for Public Integrity and released to the public
on their website.
The bill, however, never made it to the legislative stage and faded into obscurity.
Now it seems a new version, or at least a major amendment, sunset repeal, and expansion of the PATRIOT ACT has surfaced, and is being quietly
introduced to the legislative process.
The draft and summary can be downloaded from the EFF website at the link in the article above.
[edit on 2005/5/25 by wecomeinpeace]