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In Unnoticed Remarks, Bobby Scott Outlines Foreign Intelligence Danger in Patriot Act Powers

On May 12 2011, Rep. Robert Scott introduced a new wrinkle to considerations of Patriot Act powers and their uses. We already know from reports to Congress that most uses of the Patriot Act have nothing to do with terrorism. But what, then, is the purpose of the Patriot Act?

In a House Judiciary Committee [...]

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, [...]

Patriot Act To-Do List: Watch Wednesday, Watch Thursday, PROTEST Saturday

WEDNESDAY: Watch the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Patriot Act at 1:30 PM

THURSDAY: Watch the Senate Judiciary Committee mark up a bill to reauthorize the Patriot Act at 10:00 AM

SATURDAY: Join us at the Patriot Act PROTEST at NOON on the West side of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Let [...]

85 Days Left to Reform the Patriot Act: Will Senate Judiciary Do It Today? (The Answer is No.)

With Congress’ decision last month to issue a short-term reauthorization of Patriot Act surveillance powers came a promise by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to at least reform these provisions by adding some modest safeguards.

That just may happen in today’s Senate Judiciary business meeting. Markup of S.193 (the USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension [...]

House Judiciary Has Frittered Away Alloted Time for Patriot Act Reform

Do you remember the Patriot Act reauthorization that passed through the Congress in February of 2010? Republicans and a large number of Democrats renewed the Patriot Act for another year. House Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers declared that he had no choice but to support Patriot Act reauthorization because his committee just hadn’t had enough [...]

Watch House Judiciary Committee Mark Up Patriot Act Bill Today

While we may be tempted to direct the entirety of our gaze backwards today, looking over election results in a post-mortem fashion, the wreaking of political havoc outside the voting booth continues.

Today at 12:30 pm, the House Judiciary Committee will “mark up” (that is, amend and pass to the floor of the House of [...]

Patriots Act: Am Library Assn Elevates Talk on H.R. 3845 Surveillance Bill to Action

Last week, the American Library Association released a statement decrying the chilling effect of the federal Patriot Act law. Under the Patriot Act, the FBI under Patriot Act Section 215 and Section 505 authority can and does obtain patrons’ library records when there is no reason to believe patrons are engaged in criminal behavior, and [...]

Political Stereogram: Coverage and Days Left for Patriot Act and FISA Reform

Look deep and hard at these images and you will find answers to these questions:

How Many Days Left Until the House Judiciary Committee Marks Up H.R. 3845, a Bill to Reauthorize Provisions of the Patriot Act Until 2013, and H.R. 3846, a Bill to Reform the FISA Amendments Act?

How Many Newspaper Articles [...]

Patrick Leahy: Don't Worry Your Pretty Little Head None, I'll Monitor Warrantless Surveillance All By Myself

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has just dropped the barest fig leaf onto his vote against the Durbin Amendment, which would restrict warrantless surveillance under national security letters to individuals who are — or who are even just connected to — a suspected terrorist or spy. Patrick Leahy rejected even that standard for warrantless surveillance. [...]

Patrick Leahy: Don’t Worry Your Pretty Little Head None, I’ll Monitor Warrantless Surveillance All By Myself

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has just dropped the barest fig leaf onto his vote against the Durbin Amendment, which would restrict warrantless surveillance under national security letters to individuals who are — or who are even just connected to — a suspected terrorist or spy. Patrick Leahy rejected even that standard for warrantless surveillance. [...]

Watch Judiciary Committee Mark Up the Surveillance Bill — And Take Names

The time for the “representative” part of representative democracy is past, at least in this round; either you called your senators, reached the Senate Judiciary Committee, and let others know about what’s going on, or you didn’t.

In one hour, the Judiciary Committee will meet to finish “marking up” (that is, discussing and amending) a [...]