Stealth PATRIOT Expansion Stalled – For Now. (EFF). Stealth PATRIOT Expansion Stalled – For Now.
The Senate Intelligence Committee failed yesterday to reach agreement on the stealth PATRIOT expansion bill
that would give the FBI expanded power to dig through the private
records of people who aren't accused of any wrongdoing. The New York
Times has the scoop (reg. req.), including a choice quote from Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR):
“The committee met in private for two and a half hours amid continuing
complaints from civil liberties advocates and some Democrats that the
proposal would give federal investigators too much power to conduct
'fishing expeditions' in pursuing terrorism leads. Senate Republican
leaders and the Bush administration, who are backing the proposal, say
it provides the F.B.I. with essential tools in fighting terrorism.
'You can fight terrorism ferociously without throwing people's
rights in the trash can,' Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon and a
member of the committee, said after emerging from the meeting.”
This is good but not great news: we achieved push-back, but it will
take more than that to stop the bill from moving out of committee.
Committee members will likely reconvene for another mark-up session
next week, so it's vital to keep the pressure on. If you live in a
state with a senator on the committee, write, fax, or call today:
[EFF: Deep Links] [Privacy Digest: Privacy News (Civil Rights, Encryption, Free Speech, Cryptography)]