Please continue to bombard Congress with requests to let bad provisions of the Patriot Act sunset. If you've done it before the last week or so, do it again. If you haven't done it yet, please do it now. We have a real chance to win this one. The pressure is on for Congress to pass it when they return December 12. The bill sunsets December 31. Send your message here.
Any new power given to government will be abused. Case in point . . .
The FBI promised Congress it wouldn't abuse the new powers the Patriot Act gave them to conduct searches of the private records (National Security Letters, Section 505) - everything from your library records, to your bank and credit card transactions, to your Internet usage, to your medical records - of American citizens without a warrant. The FBI then told Congress they were making almost no use of this power. But they lied.
A Freedom of Information Act request made by a citizen's group revealed that they have used this power more than 120,000 times since Congress passed the Patriot Act (September, 2001).
There is no oversight of the FBI's use of this power. If such a request is made about you, the service provider is not allowed to tell you your records were accessed. And there's no way to challenge the FBI in court to prevent the abuse. This provision of the Patriot Act must be allowed to sunset!
Want to know how many messages we're sending to Congress about the Patriot Act? Read our blog.
Want to know what the radio talk show host had to say about the Read the Bills Act? Read our blog.
Want to know what we're doing about the Death Tax? Read our blog.
On behalf of Jim Babka and the folks working at DownsizeDC.org, thanks for being a DC Downsizer.