Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls
from: althouse.blogspot.com

Monday, May 2, 2011

bin Laden v. Bill of Rights

Today's news-- that Osama bin Laden's compound was successfully raided, and that he was killed, will hopefully bring some closure to the families of 9/11 victims. Yet bin Laden's horrific act of terror didn't just kill thousands who were at the WTC. It created a political climate where too many Americans were willing to surrender basic civil liberties in the interest of preventing similar attacks. Now we have learned that the sweeping spy powers granted the government in the Patriot Act have already been abused, and there's a very real potential for greater abuses in the future. Fortunately, Rep. Rush Holt introduced legislation in the last Congress that would mitigate at least some of the Patriot Act's most pernicious effects. We can help ensure that this sensible legislation is reintroduced in this Congress, by asking our Representatives to consider co-sponsoring the Holt bill now. Here's a summary of JUSTICE ( Judicious Use of Surveillance Tools In Counterterrorism Efforts Act):

Judicious Use of Surveillance Tools In Counterterrorism Efforts Act of 2009 or the JUSTICE Act - Revises requirements for the issuance of and public reporting on national security letters and for judicial review of requirements for nondisclosure of the receipt of a national security letter. Amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to revise requirements for obtaining orders for business records in counterterrorism investigations. Amends the federal criminal code to reduce from 30 to 7 days the period for notifying the target of a criminal investigation of the issuance of a search warrant. Prohibits the use of evidence in judicial and administrative proceedings if notice of a search warrant is delayed. Amends FISA to: (1) impose limits on roving electronic surveillance and the use of pen registers and trap and trace devices (devices for recording incoming and outgoing telephone numbers); (2) repeal provisions granting retroactive immunity to telecommunication providers for illegal disclosure of subscriber records; (3) prohibit the warrantless collection of certain communications of U.S. citizens known to reside in the United States; and (5) revise certain reporting and evidentiary requirements. Permits the recipient of a subpoena, order, or warrant issued under FISA to bring a challenge in either the district in which the subpoena, order, or warrant was issued or the district in which it was served. Amends the federal criminal code to: (1) redefine "domestic terrorism" as involving acts dangerous to human life that constitute a federal crime of terrorism; and (2) revise the crime of providing material support or resources to foreign terrorism organizations to require knowledge or intent that such support or resources will be used to carry out terrorist activity.

These modest reforms won't put Big Brother out of business, but they might at least force Big Brother to go before a judge-- to explain why he needs to tap the phones, and read the mail of people who aren't even suspected of any crime.


milwaukeedave said...

Hey Ulysses, your website is more vulnerable to Big Brother than you know: http://www.torontosun.com/news/world/2011/02/17/17317976.html

Underground Politics said...

It would be nice if we could get something like this done.

Ulysses said...

It could happen... this is one issue on which folks who usually oppose us liberals, namely libertarians, might lend some support. Of course most Americans who pretend they are libertarian are actually authoritarian, except to defend the "liberty" of the wealthy to hoard their riches.

Underground Politics said...

I think it's a bit ironic that the GOP hates big government but they love the Patriot Act. You'd think they'd be jumping all over this.