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61% of Transparency Caucus Votes Against Transparency

In the spring of 2010, Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois strode up to the microphones, posed for the cameras, and declared the formation of a new voluntary organization for members of the House of Representatives, the Congressional Transparency Caucus. In his call for colleagues to join the Transparency Caucus, Quigley called for the government to [...]

Use of Patriot Act Sneak-And-Peek Powers for Drug War Further Eclipsed Terrorism Uses in 2009

In a statement on January 26 2011, House Judiciary Chair Lamar Smith declared that the extension of Patriot Act surveillance powers is necessary to stop terrorists:

The intelligence and law enforcement communities that are responsible for preventing terrorist attacks need to know that the tools they rely on to keep the American people safe will [...]

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, [...]

Sign Open Letter to Barack Obama: Roll Back the Surveillance State

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee has posted an open letter written to Barack Obama on the subject of spreading surveillance by the United States Government. The letter reads:

Dear President Obama,

In your response to Get FISA Right’s July 2008 Open Letter on my.barackobama.com, you promised to run “a White House that takes [...]

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 [...]

Report: USA Patriot Used to Sniff Out Druggies, Guns and Fraud, Not Terrorism

On October 1, Senator Russell Feingold revealed in a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee that “in fiscal year 2008 only 3 out of the 763 sneak and peek search warrant applications were in terrorism cases. 65 percent were for drug cases.”

Sneak and Peek operations, you may recall, are authorized by the USA Patriot [...]

My Letter to the Editor Success on Patriot Act Abuse. Try Your Own.

At the beginning of this month, frustrated that newspapers were not covering the significant Patriot Act reauthorization meetings in the U.S. Senate, I decided to do what I could to get the message out myself. I already do my bit online, writing articles that I hope people will search for and choose to read. I [...]

Patriot Act Used Almost Always Against Non-Terrorists Last Year

Almost no sneak and peek Patriot Act spy invasions of Americans’ homes were terrorism related last year – only 3 out of 763 last year. 65 percent of the remaining cases had to do with drug investigations, not terrorism – and just what kind of investigations were the remaining 34.61 percent of cases related to? Shoplifting? Parking violations? Jaywalking? [...]