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Dear Senator Kyl, Since You Say There’s No Privacy in Reading…

On Thursday March 10, Republican Senator Jon Kyl explained why he thinks people should stop worrying and love the government for using the Patriot Act to track their reading habits:

How does the law enforcement official know in advance, before he sees the order from the bookseller, that it includes the book? That is, how [...]

Senators Jon Kyl and Orrin Hatch say you can’t expect the names of books you read to be private

In Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee’s markup of a bill to reauthorize the Patriot Act, Senator Patrick Leahy tried to insert an amendment. The amendment would allow the government to obtain records of book sales that do not meet the Constitution’s requirement that there be probable cause to believe the target has committed a crime. Instead, [...]

Why Ban Crush Videos?

I’ve never seen any, but animal crush videos sound like a hideous form of entertainment. That said, isn’t it animal cruelty itself, and not videos of animal cruelty, that are the problem? [...]

Agenda Emerges: Put Military NSA in Charge of Domestic Cybersecurity

In their questions to witnesses in a hearing this morning, members of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security revealed a bipartisan interest in having the National Security Agency put in charge of domestic “cybersecurity” efforts.

Republican Senator Jon Kyl asked witnesses to evaluate the idea of the NSA — a military intelligence [...]

H.R. 3845: Some Weak Tea. Support Positive Change to the Bill

Yesterday afternoon, Rep. John Conyers released advance copies of H.R. 3845, a bill to reauthorize the Patriot Act provisions regarding national security letters and “sneak and peek” searches again until December 31, 2013.

We know this much to be true: a majority of Democrats and Republicans in Congress seem determined to pass some form of [...]

Durbin Introduces Amendment To Control National Security Letter Abuses

Senator Jon Kyl responded that Durbin’s amendment would threaten investigations in their earliest stages, because people conducting terrorism investigations cannot be expected to know whether the people they are investigating are suspected of involvement in terrorism. [...]

Democrats Join Republicans To Defeat Health Care Reform

The 5 Democrats who defected to the Republican side to defeat Obama’s public option are: Max Baucus, Blanche Lincoln, Kent Conrad, Bill Nelson and Tom Carper. [...]

GOP Senators Warn Interrogators Cannot Be Accountable To The Law

The Republican senators who wrote to Eric Holder suggest that CIA interrogators ought to be able to engage in torture and other forms of brutality, breaking the law, without worrying about being held accountable. They propose that the CIA be allowed to operate as a criminal organization that no one has the power to restrain. [...]

Cosponsorship Networks in the U.S. Senate as of March 1, 2009

Cosponsorship, the act of registering one’s name as an official supporter of a bill, is a common activity in the United States Senate. Although the 111th Congress is less than two months old, 1753 cosponsorships for 495 Senate Bills and 11 Senate Joint Resolutions have been officially registered. That’s an average of 3 cosponsorships per [...]

Obama AG Pick Expresses Regret About FISA Amendments Act — that it was not passed sooner

In the Senate confirmation yesterday of Obama Attorney General nominee Eric Holder, Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona asked Holder about his legal opinion regarding the FISA Amendments Act. This FISA Amendments Act, for those of you joining in late, is the law passed in July of 2008 that permits a president to order spying on [...]