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WAR: Powerful Organizations Seek Congress To Limit Patriot Act

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posted on Oct, 8 2005 @ 05:37 PM
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In a letter to Congress on Wednesday, some of the nation's top 25 most powerful lobbyists complained that the Patriot Act too easily facilitates the government obtaining confidential business records as well as other problems. Signateurs included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Association of Realtors, among others. In the first organized criticism effort from the business sector, the groups endorsed ammendments restricting several powers of federal agents affecting both the Senate's and House's version of the bill.
 



www.boston.com
Michael J. Sniffen, Associated Press Writer

Their views could make a difference as Congress heads toward a vote on whether to extend some controversial provisions of the act that expire at the end of the year.

"Confidential files -- records about our customers or our employees, as well as our trade secrets and other proprietary information -- can too easily be obtained and disseminated under investigative powers expanded by the Patriot Act," six business groups wrote in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa. "These new powers lack sufficient checks and balances."

The restrictions sought by the business groups also have been advocated by a coalition of civil liberties groups and conservative political organizations. The chairman of one such coalition, former Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., of Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances, commended the signers: "Business leaders recognize that the private records and sensitive proprietary information of all businesses -- from doctor's offices to Realtors to manufacturers to car dealerships -- are at risk under the current Patriot Act."


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Well, it's about time! Horray. Finally some key lobbyists are taking action on this controversial bill, and I don't know about you, but this makes me very happy.

Of particular note to me in the article:

Specifically, the groups endorsed a Senate provision that would require federal agents to provide to a court that sits in secret to issue Patriot Act warrants a statement of facts showing "some linkage between the records sought and an individual suspected of being a terrorist or spy."


That secret judiciary is something that has always bothered me. I just really really do not like the idea of that secrecy, and the potential for abuse that it brings.

And another:


Finally, they endorsed Senate amendments that would provide the first "meaningful right to challenge the (Patriot Act court) order when the order is unreasonable, oppressive or seeks privileged information" and the right to challenge the existing permanent gag order covering document demands made under the act.


This is another key issue with the bill that has had many people very concerned about the tremendous power and impunity it gives federal agencies. At least with this proposed ammendment, more reasonable checks and balances would be put into place.

The power and influence of these groups should not be inderestimated. They may make a real difference, and provide a solution we can all live with- IF they go through. My fingers are crossed. Bigtime.

*NOTE: Resubmitted, previously upgraded article- that never got upgraded- due to recent ATS downtime.*

Related News Links:
seattletimes.nwsource.com
www.washingtonpost.com
www.eff.org

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
WAR: Federal Judge Rules Some Portions of U.S. Patriot Act Unconstitutional
OP/ED: Voice Your Opinon to Congress Quickly and Easily on Patriot Act II!
OP/ED: Analyzing the Security Gained by the PATRIOT Act
Want to know whats in the Patriot Act 2?

[edit on 10-10-2005 by Nerdling]




posted on Oct, 8 2005 @ 06:33 PM
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Don't let them fool you into believing that they have the consumer best interest at hart.

They are probably trying to cover their own business dealings and keep them away form public scrutiny.

These people do not do anything that is not going to benefit them first.



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 03:01 PM
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Well Marg, anything that ANYBODY does at this point to help keep the Patriot Act fair and Constitutional is a worthy action, IMO. And I think this is not an issue of public scrutiny, since these groups are seeking protection against the government having easy access to the records, not the public having access to those records.

As to them doing this because it will benefit them first and not the public, you may well be right about that. But if the public benefits from their self-induglence, then so be it!



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 04:05 PM
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Well as you pointed somebody is to benefit from it and if protecting the big guns include the common Joe, then so beat it.

As usual under bush administration the ones making the calls are occurs the corporate elite.



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