Thursday, November 26, 2009

Obama is Bush's Third Term
Highlighted quotes from the above link:

"Barack Obama administration is quietly supporting renewal of provisions of the George W. Bush-era USA Patriot Act that civil libertarians say infringe on basic freedoms. "

"But with the apparent approval of the Obama White House and a number of Republicans – and over the objections of liberal Senate Democrats including Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Dick Durbin of Illinois – the Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to extend the three provisions with only minor changes."

"Those provisions would leave unaltered the power of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to seize records and to eavesdrop on phone calls and e-mail in the course of counterterrorism investigations."

"The parts of the act due to expire on Dec. 31 deal with:

National Security Letters (NSLs)

The FBI uses NSLs to compel Internet service providers, libraries, banks, and credit reporting companies to turn over sensitive information about their customers and patrons. Using this data, the government can compile vast dossiers about innocent people.

The 'Material Support' Statute

This provision criminalises providing "material support" to terrorists, defined as providing any tangible or intangible good, service or advice to a terrorist or designated group. As amended by the Patriot Act and other laws since Sep. 11, this section criminalises a wide array of activities, regardless of whether they actually or intentionally further terrorist goals or organisations.

FISA Amendments Act of 2008

"This past summer, Congress passed a law that permits the government to conduct warrantless and suspicion-less dragnet collection of U.S. residents' international telephone calls and e-mails. "

"In a report on the Patriot Act, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said, "More than seven years after its implementation there is little evidence that the Patriot Act has been effective in making America more secure from terrorists. However, there are many unfortunate examples that the government abused these authorities in ways that both violate the rights of innocent people and squander precious security resources."

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