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September 28, 2009

NEW CAMPAIGN: Roll Back the Patriot Act

Quote of the Day: “The JUSTICE Act will allow intelligence agents to monitor terrorism suspects while putting checks in place to ensure that law-abiding Americans’ privacy and civil liberties are protected.” – Sen. Daniel Akaka

SUBJECT: Rolling Back the Patriot Act

Following 9/11, Congress passed the gargantuan USA PATRIOT Act, without reading it. The PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act were written to protect Americans from terrorism, but they’ve left people unprotected from their own government.

The good news is that some parts of the PATRIOT Act will expire at the end of the year unless Congress renews them. This provides an opportunity to roll back many dangerous provisions. Toward this end Senator Russ Feingold introduced the JUSTICE Act (S. 1686) on September 17, Constitution Day. JUSTICE stands for the Judicious Use of Surveillance Tools In Counterterrorism Efforts. This bill would . . .

  • narrow the scope of “sneak and peak” warrants so they can’t be used in common criminal cases
  • ensure judicial review of NSLs and require that they only be used in terrorism or espionage investigations
  • prevent roving wiretaps of unnamed suspects that allow the government to monitor the conversations of innocent people
  • revoke the retroactive immunity provision of the FISA Amendments Act that has shielded the telecom companies that collaborated with the government in illegal surveillance
  • provide additional privacy protections outlined here

In short, the JUSTICE Act would give government agents powerful tools to spy on suspected terrorists, while preventing them from spying on YOU.

We would prefer to repeal the PATRIOT Act entirely, but until that can happen the provisions of the JUSTICE Act would move things in the right direction. Please take action to pass the JUSTICE Act.

Thank-you for being a DC Downsizer. To see how we’re growing, check out the Keeping Score section below my signature.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

KEEPING SCORE REPORT

Your Downsize DC Army shrank by 12 net new members over the weekend. This brings our total growth for the year to 3,895. The Downsize DC Army now stands at 28,243, 24% of the way between 28,000 and 29,000. 

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