Repeal the Patriot Act

  • 7 May 2015
  • NormanL
Repeal the Patriot Act

Judge Andrew Napolitano has some strong words for congress">Congress as it debates whether to renew a section of the Patriot Act that, he says, is "constitutionally offensive" to the Fourth Amendment. It has to do with the powers granted the federal government to conduct "fishing expeditions" in search of wrongdoers -- with no probable cause, and little judicial restraint:

One of its sections permits federal agents to write their own search warrants and serve them on persons and entities who by law are the custodians of records about others, such as physicians, lawyers, bankers, telecoms, public utilities, and computers servers. The same section of the act has been used perversely by the NSA and the secret FISA court to authorize the bulk collection of data. Bulk collection of data—the indiscriminate governmental acquisition of the contents of emails, text messages, telephone calls, bank statements, and credit card bills—is what the NSA seeks when it acquires all data in a specific area code or zip code or from a named provider, like Verizon, AT&T, and google">Google.

Bulk data collection has a number of fans on Capitol Hill:

President Obama wants it extended so his spies can continue their bulk collection of data. The Republican leadership in the Senate agrees with the president and accepts the myth that less freedom equals more security. The Republican leadership in the House has proposed a Band-Aid that would require the telecoms and computer service providers to sit on bulk data until the feds come calling, but to surrender it without the judicial finding of probable cause or specificity.

In the battle between liberty and security, it's obvious the political class, generally, favors less liberty. That's almost always been true. But there are some people who are standing up and demanding a change in attitude, and policy:

 

Enter Restore the Fourth.

Restore the Fourth is a movement gaining steam now because the section of the Patriot Act that is so constitutionally offensive expires on May 31.

You can find out more about Restore the Fourth on their website, including local chapters, discussion boards and much more.

 

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