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l : laamn@yahoogroups.com 27 October 2011 • 7:00AM -0400

[LAAMN] Happy 10th Birthday, USA PATRIOT Act.
by Cort Greene

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http://nsarchive.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/happy-10th-birthday-usa-patriot-act/

Happy 10th Birthday, USA PATRIOT Act.
October 26, 2011
tags: FOIA <http://nsarchive.wordpress.com/tag/foia/>, Justice
Department<http://nsarchive.wordpress.com/tag/justice-department/>,
New York Times <http://nsarchive.wordpress.com/tag/new-york-times/>, Patriot
Act <http://nsarchive.wordpress.com/tag/patriot-act/>
by Lauren Harper
<http://nsarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/the-patriot-act.jpg>

The Patriot Act signed into law, just ten short years ago.

Almost *two-thirds of Americans
approve*<http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/10/poll-most-americans-support-occupy-wall-street-taxing-millionaires/246963/>of
the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.
*Nearly half* <http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1893/poll-patriot-act-renewal>
approve
of the USA PATRIOT Act. Fortunately, some of its laws flaws are receiving
some much needed attention on its *10th
birthday*<http://www.npr.org/2011/10/26/141699537/as-it-turns-10-patriot-act-remains-controversial>
.

The Patriot Act, which was enacted 45 days after September 11 attacks, was
designed to give intelligence agencies more power to collect information in
cases dealing with national security.

Signed into law by George W. Bush on this day in 2001, it has received mixed
reviews from civil rights advocates and constitutionalists alike.
Nonetheless, this May Obama signed a four year extension for three
controversial provisions of the Act (roving wire taps, searches of business
records, and conducting surveillance of individuals suspected of terrorist
activities but who are not associated with any known organizations).

Over the past ten years the Patriot Act has experienced some *growing
pains*<http://www.aclu.org/national-security/surveillance-under-patriot-act>.
For example, between 2003 and 2006 there was only 1 terror-related
conviction as a result of the Act. Additionally, of the 53 reported criminal
referrals made to prosecutors as a result of the Act, 0 were for terrorism,
and of the 3,970 “sneak peaks” (secret raids of homes and offices) conducted
in 2010, less than 1% were terror-related.

Here’s an excellent infographic from the
*ACLU*<http://www.aclu.org/reform-patriot-act>depicting
the Act’s overreach.
<http://nsarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/patriot-act1.jpg>

From the ACLU. Check out http://www.aclu.org/reform-patriot-act



As *we tweeted* <http://twitter.com/#!/NSArchive> earlier this month, the
Justice Department *is being
sued*<http://www.politico.com/blogs/onmedia/1011/NY_Times_sues_Justice_Department.html>by
the
*New York Times *and reporter Charlie Savage over its failure to disclose
its “secret” government interpretations of the Patriot Act.

The lawsuit originated from comments made by Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo.)
and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) when the Senate was debating reauthorization of the
Act. As Senator Wyden stated, *“I want to deliver a warning this afternoon:
When the American people find out how their government has secretly
interpreted the Patriot Act, they will be stunned and they will be angry.”*

To date, the Justice Department has failed to respond to the request or to
provide a lawful reason for withholding this interpretations.

As extensive as the privacy concerns caused by the Patriot Act are, the
existence of a  “secret interpretation” would be incredibly troubling.

Happy Birthday!


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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