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The ACLU’s Shenna Bellows Speaks Out on the 4th Amendment for Constitution Day

On August 17, Shenna Bellows of the ACLU spoke in Augusta, Maine on the occasion of Constitution Day. With her permission, I’ve transcribed her speech to share it here with you.

Good morning. It’s a pleasure to be here today on Constitution Day. Happy Constitution Day! The ACLU is an organization whose mission is to [...]

Congress Reveals Government can use Patriot Act to find out who Reads about the Second Amendment

In this past Thursday’s meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, there was a very interesting question-and-answer period between Senator Dick Durbin and the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy. Senator Leahy proposed an amendment to curtail Patriot Act powers so that records of book purchases couldn’t be collected by the government unless the government [...]

FBI Violates FOIA Statute to Keep Patriot Act Practices a Secret

In policy debates, knowledge is power. It is impossible to determine whether a problem exists in the implementation of a government program if the government won’t release information about the execution of that program. While the Obama administration is asking Americans to let the FBI continue three Patriot Act programs — sneak and peek searches, [...]

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 [...]

America's Librarians Call for Patriot Act Surveillance Reform in Congress

Don’t mess with librarians; they’re organized and they take notes.

The American Library Association and California Library Association have released statements in which they decry the current regime of government surveillance and call for significant reforms to the Patriot Act before any reauthorization of its powers this year.

The CLA’s resolution articulates multiple areas in [...]

America’s Librarians Call for Patriot Act Surveillance Reform in Congress

Don’t mess with librarians; they’re organized and they take notes.

The American Library Association and California Library Association have released statements in which they decry the current regime of government surveillance and call for significant reforms to the Patriot Act before any reauthorization of its powers this year.

The CLA’s resolution articulates multiple areas in [...]

Reprise: Patriot Act Heroes and Zeroes on the Senate Judiciary Committee

(A hat tip to Ramone for the suggestion)

If you were hibernating in the early part of October, you missed the spectacle of eight blind donkeys rearing on their hind legs in an acrobatic effort to form the shape of an all-seeing eye.

On October 1 and October 8, the Senate Judiciary Committee met to [...]

Most Democrats Vote Against Protecting Americans From National Security Letters

8 out of the 12 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted against protecting Americans’ constitutional rights from known abuses of the Patriot Act. The following is a transcript of the speech Senator Dick Durbin gave explaining why the abuses of the Patriot Act called for a restriction of National Security Letter powers. [...]

Russ Feingold Hints At Secret Spy Abuses Under Patriot Act

ome aspect of the government’s Section 215 spying that remains classified has something very important to do with our constitutional rights – something Feingold has seen, and can’t talk about, but thinks that the American people would want to know. [...]

Transcript: Senator Dick Durbin on Surveillance, Terrorism and the Constitution

On October 1, 2009, Senator Richard Durbin made remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee, remarks that contain an explosive allegation for those who carefully listen (see minute 63 to minute 69 of this video archive). At the beginning of those remarks, Senator Durbin declined to request that his remarks be made part of the official [...]

Senate Democrats Join Republicans To Kill Protection From Government Spies

The Durbin amendment to S. 1692 would have required that Section 215 Patriot Act spying only be used to protect against spies working against the American government, terrorism, or as a part of spying against foreign targets that are not related to Americans. Who could object to that? Eight Senate Democrats, that’s who. [...]