Issues of Concern
The Patriot Act
This law provides
for indefinite imprisonment without trial of non-U.S. citizens
whom the Attorney General has determined to be a threat to
national security. The government is not required to provide
detainees with counsel, nor is it required to make any announcement
or statement regarding the arrest. The law allows a wiretap
to be issued against an individual instead of a specific telephone
number. It permits law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant
and search a residence without immediately informing the occupants,
if the Attorney General has determined this to be an issue
of national security. The act also allows intelligence gathering
at religious events.
to Limit the Patriot Act
On July 31, 2003, Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), introduced the "Protecting the Rights of Individuals Act" (S. 1552) . This bill would revise several provisions of the Patriot Act to increase judicial review. For example, instead of PEN/Trap warrants to track internet-usage being based on the claims of law-enforcement, they would be based on "specific and articulable facts that reasonably indicate that a crime has been, is being, or will be committed, and that information likely to be obtained by such installation and use is relevant to the investigation of that crime." However, the Protecting the Rights of Individuals Act doesn't address the portion of Sec. 216 of the Patriot Act which allows unnamed-persons to be subject to a PEN/Trap warrant based on law-enforcement certifying that those individuals should have been named.
US House of Representantives
On September 24, 2003, Congressman and Democratic Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus, introduced legislation into the US House of Representatives to repeal more than ten sections of the Act. The bill, titled the "Benjamin Franklin True Patriot Act", repeals sections of the USA PATRIOT Act that authorize sneak and peek searches, warrantless library, medical, and financial record searches, and the detention and deportation of non-citizens without meaningful judicial review. Beyond the PATRIOT Act, the bill cements the fundamental right ofAttorney/Client Privilege and restores transparency in the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security by revoking FOIA secrecy orders, along with other important provisions.
Read the Patriot Act.