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» Thursday, June 23, 2005


Big Brother is Watching

    We have to do more than vote every four years... - fc

Moving Ideas   ::   On The Hill
The USA PATRIOT Act became law only a month after September 11, 2001 -- with little review and amid an atmosphere of fear. The law gave the government sweeping surveillance powers without including accountability and oversight. Certain provisions are set to expire this year and Congress has begun the process of reauthorizing and possibly expanding the PATRIOT Act.

Civil liberties groups have challenged a number of PATRIOT Act provisions as unconstitutional. These groups argue that Congress should never have given the government the ability to:
  • Search your home without informing you
  • Secretly access your records -- educational, medical,
    library, sales, financial, etc. -- without probable cause
  • Monitor your emails and what Internet sites you visit
  • Wiretap you without your name being on the warrant
  • Take away your property without a hearing
  • Share your information with the CIA so they can spy on you
  • Indefinitely incarcerate non-citizens

Urge Congress to
Fix Flaws
in the

In 2003, the Justice Department called for expansions to the PATRIOT Act's powers, dubbed PATRIOT Act II. Some legislators would like to see expanded powers from PATRIOT Act II included in the reauthorization bill. Civil liberties groups are calling for Congress to curtail powers the government already has by reversing some of the original PATRIOT Act provisions.

While it is important that the government have the ability to conduct investigations into terrorism and other criminal activities, there needs to be a balance that also protects citizens' civil liberties and offers accountability and oversight. Take action to urge your legislator to support corrections to the USA PATRIOT Act.

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