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Homework: Read Up on H.R. 3845 and H.R. 3846 to Reform the Patriot Act and FISA Amendments Act

Homework time for people who care about civil liberties in the United States!

Today, two bills — H.R. 3845 to reform the Patriot Act and H.R. 3846 to reform the FISA Amendments Act — have been introduced to the House Judiciary Committee and are being prominently promoted by House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers. I’ve been told that at least one of these bills, H.R. 3845, stands to be considered by the House Judiciary Committee within two weeks’ time. That’s a fairly quick schedule, so if We The People want to be involved in some way we’ve get to get up to speed even more quickly.

The pokey Thomas congressional database doesn’t have information about these bills in its system yet. Below are links to the full text of both bills, plus a plain-English analysis of their content, courtesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I’d like you to encourage you to read these bills and the analysis of their provisions, then tell me what you think of them.

Text of H.R. 3845, the USA Patriot Amendments Act of 2009:
http://www.eff.org/files/text_USA_Patriot_Amendments_Act_of_2009_Oct_20.pdf

EFF Summary of H.R. 3845, the USA Patriot Amendments Act of 2009:
http://www.eff.org/files/Section_by_Section_Analysis_Bill_1_Oct_19.pdf

Text of H.R. 3846, the FISA Amendments Act of 2009:
http://www.eff.org/files/text_FISA_Amendments_Act_of_2009_Oct_20.pdf

EFF Summary of H.R. 3846, the FISA Amendment Act of 2009:
http://www.eff.org/files/The_FISA_Amendments_Act_of_2009_Section_by_Section_101909.pdf

Summary of H.R. 3845 and H.R. 3846 by the House Judiciary Committee:
http://judiciary.house.gov/news/091020.html

The following are some good sources of background information on some issues of U.S. Government surveillance abuse, in case you’re curious:

Reining in the Imperial Presidency
Report of House Committee on the Judiciary Majority Staff, March 2009

A Review of the FBI’s Use of National Security Letters: Assessment of Corrective Actions and Examination of NSL Usage in 2006, March 2008

A Review of the FBI’s Use of Section 215 Orders for Business Records in 2006, March 2008

Administrative Office of the United States Courts report on sneak-and-peek operations, July 2009

Officials Say U.S. Wiretaps Exceeded Law: New York Times, April 15 2009

Thanks in advance for your diligence and your willingness to share your opinion on these bills.

1 comment to Homework: Read Up on H.R. 3845 and H.R. 3846 to Reform the Patriot Act and FISA Amendments Act

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