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The USA PATRIOT Act

The USA PATRIOT Act

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The USA PATRIOT Act

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  1. The USA PATRIOT Act By: Nick Pollio

  2. Patriot • “one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests” Question: Is the USA PATRIOT Act “patriotic”? Is it in our interests?

  3. USA PATRIOT Act • Stands for: “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism”

  4. USA PATRIOT Act • What is the purpose of the act?

  5. PATRIOT facts • Signed into law on October 26, 2001 • (45 days after 9/11/2001) • Overwhelmingly passed and bi-partisan • (98 to 1 in Senate • (357 to 66 in House) • 342 pages long

  6. PATRIOT facts • Changes a dozen laws • Reads like a computer manual • “Wrong bill” (changed before the vote) • No conference report

  7. PATRIOT benefits • sharing of information between government agencies • including FBI • CIA, local law enforcement • and immigration

  8. PATRIOT benefits • Easier to “connect the dots” • information about potential terrorist threats

  9. PATRIOT benefits • Increases funding to patrol and secure… • Northern border of the United States

  10. PATRIOT benefits • Permits rewards to combat terrorism • provides funding fortraining of firefighters • and for other first responders

  11. PATRIOT benefits • Increases ability to interceptterror plans

  12. PATRIOT fears • Gives access to…

  13. PATRIOT fears … like buying a book from Amazon.com?

  14. PATRIOT fears Must have "A significant purpose”

  15. PATRIOT fears • Intended for use in non-terrorist crimes. • Against American citizens

  16. PATRIOT fears • Forbids librarians and business owners • Also employees from informing people • That their records havebeen seized

  17. PATRIOT fears Allows…

  18. PATRIOT fears Permits (“sneak and peak warrants”)

  19. PATRIOT fears Permits…

  20. PATRIOT fears Allows…

  21. PATRIOT fears Creates “domestic terrorism”

  22. PATRIOT realities • No one outside of Justice Dept. knows how it is really being used • Vigorously defended by Attorney General

  23. PATRIOT realities • Website claims great successes (www.lifeandliberty.gov) • Justice Dept. report provides some evidence (July 2004 -- Report from the Field: The USA PATRIOT Act at Work) http://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/usapatriot/doj_report.pdf

  24. PATRIOT realities • Being used for non- terrorist crimes against Americans Settle down!

  25. PATRIOT realities • Law enforcement mislead FISA Court at least 75 times • Law enforcement visiting libraries • Law enforcement monitoring, spying on, infiltrating peace groups

  26. PATRIOT backlash • 389 towns and counties and 7 states passed resolutions to modify law (62 million Americans) • National League of Cities passed resolution to modify law (245 million Americans)

  27. PATRIOT backlash • House voted 309-118 to withdraw funding for “sneak and peak” warrants (9-4 in NC) • Sanders-Paul-Conyers-Otter-Nadler Amendment to 2005 spending bill defeated in tie (210-210)*** *** original vote was 219-201 to pass bill

  28. PATRIOT backlash • SAFE Act supported by a diverse group of liberal and conservative groups (ACLU, ACU, ALA, GOA) • Major conservatives against law (Bob Barr, Dick Armey, Pat Buchanan, Newt Gingrich)

  29. PATRIOT backlash • 95% of criminal justice experts say law passed too quickly • 74% say law threatens civil liberties • 68% believe that existing laws could be leveraged to protect the nation from terrorism

  30. PATRIOT backlash • Federal Judge Audrey Collins declared Section 805 unconstitutional (Jan. 23, 2004) • Federal Judge Victor Marrero declared Section 505 unconstitutional (Sept. 29, 2004)

  31. PATRIOT backlash • Federal Judge Audrey Collins declared Section 805 unconstitutional again! (Jul. 29, 2005) • Judge Janet Hall lifted a gag order that had been imposed on a librarian by the FBI under the USA PATRIOT Act. (September 9, 2005) • US Chamber of Commerce wrote letter to Senate Judiciary Committee to revise Sections 215 and 505 (October 4, 2005)

  32. A Final Thought … “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”