Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Action on Patriot Act

According to one of my Washington sources, today, March 7, 2006 the House of Representatives was set to take up the Senate changes in the PATRIOT Act. On the table were the following attempts to change the act coming from the Senate:

1. National security letters (administrative search warrants) will not be used with respect to libraries.
2. A process is established to allow an person to challenge requests under section 215 of the Act regarding items such as books, records and other tangible things.
3. An affected person cannot be required to submit the name of their attorney to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Senate changes will be brought up under the Suspension of the Rules which requires a two-thirds vote in the House.

I must admit I have not been unhappy with the act as it is. If terrorists are looking at books on a particular tourist attraction of building, I would want our government to be able to discover that with the least fuss and risk of tipping off the terrorists as possible. I am also not worried about the government accidentally getting a list of the books I check out at the library. After all, if the books were so embarrassing I would not want the librarian to know either.

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