Call Congress Today To Urge Changes In Patriot Act

Call Congress Today To Urge Changes In Patriot Act

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/8/05) - CAIR today called on all people of conscience to urge their elected officials to support commonsense changes to the USA Patriot Act that would protect both national security and civil liberties. Sixteen provisions of the act are slated to expire at the end of this year and Congress is already considering modifications. Some elected officials want to increase police powers while at same time reducing accountability. Yesterday, the Senate Intelligence Committee meeting in closed session approved a Patriot Act revision that would permit the FBI to subpoena personal records without the approval of a judge or grand jury. SEE: “Senate Panel Votes to Widen Antiterror Law” http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/08/politics/08patriot.html

“These administrative subpoenas are an end-run around long-standing due process procedures and threaten every American's right to privacy,” said CAIR Governmental Affairs Director Corey Saylor. CAIR and other civil liberties groups are calling on Congress to enact the following measures:

* Conduct all Patriot Act reauthorization hearings in public.

* Pass the Security and Freedom Enhancement (SAFE) Act of 2005 (H.R. 1526 and S. 737) and the Protection of Civil Liberties Act (H.R. 1310)

* Set any renewed provision to sunset again in 2007. Section 213, which does not sunset, should be modified to sunset in 2007. This ensures that measures undertaken in times of great need do not endure longer than necessary. Two of the Patriot Act's provisions in particular raise major civil liberties concerns.

* Section 215 allows law enforcement to acquire a search warrant for "any tangible thing." This can include: library records, medical records, and travel records. Additionally, it places a gag order on the person who must turn over records. Under this provision, a librarian could not tell his or her lawyer that they had to turn over someone's library records.

* Section 213 replaces traditional "knock and announce" search warrants with "sneak and peek." searches, delaying of notice of the execution of a search warrant for a "reasonable time." This can mean never informing the subject of the warrant that their possessions were searched. In substantive cases involving international or domestic terrorism, investigations conducted in secret are reasonable. However, Section 213, as written, is not limited to terror cases. It can be applied to any federal investigation, such as an examination of delinquent student loans.

IMMEDIATE ACTIONS REQUESTED:

1) Contact your elected representatives in Congress and ask them to support both national security and civil liberties when considering revisions to the Patriot Act. GO TO: http://capwiz.com/cair/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=7694791

2) Urge your friends and family to visit the above link and put their faith into action. (You will automatically be asked to do this after you send your message from the above site.)

3) You may also call your representatives through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. (Have your ZIP Code ready.)

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