Patriot Games: Libertarian Republicans Rising Up
The Patriot Act is currently blocked in the Senate with our friend from
Looking at the bill, here are some controversial parts:
Sec. 203(b) and (d): Allows information from criminal probes to be shared with intelligence agencies and other parts of the government.
Sec. 206: Allows one wiretap authorization to cover multiple devices, eliminating the need for separate court authorizations for a suspect's cell phone, PC and Blackberry, for example.
Access to Records
Sec. 215: Allows easier access to business records in foreign intelligence investigations.
Foreign Intelligence Wiretaps and Searches
Sec. 218: Lowers the bar for launching foreign intelligence wiretaps and searches.
“Sneak & Peek” Warrants
Sec. 213: Allows "Sneak and peek" search warrants, which let authorities search a home or business without immediately notifying the target of a probe.
Sec. 805: Expands the existing ban on giving "material support" to terrorists to include "expert advice or assistance."
I personally do not know where I stand on a number of these issues and do not know how much power the federal government should have in terms of surveillance and intelligence gathering? I do know though that Congress should be looking at this bill with a critical eye and should not pass it blindly or simply because the White House is pushing it. The country needs to continue to take precautionary measures in order to be safe but excessive and unwarranted surveillance and intrusion is not what our country is about. The bill hopefully will be amended so that FBI and CIA intelligence gathering is lawful and fair, keeping the civil liberties of this nation in mind.