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Patriot Act, (The USA Patriot Act)

Many sections of the Patriot Act are set to expire (sunset) in December of 2005. The Bush administration is pushing Congress to renew these sections as Congress begins the debate. We must push for the genuine discussion that was missing in the original implementation of the act and restore the privacy and civil liberties that this act has eroded.
The Patriot Act is actually fully titled Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (H.R.3162)  The full bill summary and status is available at

The Patriot Act was passed just 45 days after the September 11, 2001 attacks and received little congressional oversite or debate, especially considering it is 342 pages long and effects over 15 statutes. It passed the Senate by a vote of 98 to 1 and in the House by a vote of 357 to 66.  Part of the rush to pass it was the arguement that the powers given by the Patriot Act would be used to put terrorists behind bars and that they were temporary measures. Unfortunately many provisions of the Patriot can be used in a wide range of investigations that have nothing to do with terrorism, but do impinge upon rights covered by the First Amendment.  Various components of The Patriot Act are set to "sunset" (expire) in December of 2005, but President Bush is urging congress to reauthorize the bill.


Below is a list of the provisions set to expire as noted by  Wikipedia

Provisions that will expire

       § 201. Authority To Intercept Wire, Oral, And Electronic Communications Relating To Terrorism.

       § 202. Authority To Intercept Wire, Oral, And Electronic Communications Relating To Computer Fraud And Abuse Offenses.

        § 203(b), (d). Authority To Share Criminal Investigative Information.
        § 206. Roving Surveillance Authority Under The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Of 1978.

        § 207. Duration Of FISA Surveillance Of Non-United States Persons Who Are Agents Of A Foreign Power.

        § 209. Seizure Of Voice-Mail Messages Pursuant To Warrants.

        § 212. Emergency Disclosure Of Electronic Communications To Protect Life And Limb.

        § 214. Pen Register And Trap And Trace Authority Under FISA.

        § 215. Access To Records And Other Items Under FISA.

        §  217. Interception Of Computer Trespasser Communications.

        §  218. Foreign Intelligence Information.

        § 220. Nationwide Service Of Search Warrants For Electronic Evidence.

        § 223. Civil Liability For Certain Unauthorized Disclosures.
Created by lsmithlas
Last modified February 27, 2005 09:39 AM

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