The Patriot Act and Related LegislationUSA Patriot Act of 2001
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Read the full text of the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001".
The Freedom to Read Protection Act of 2003
To answer to the Patriot Act, this Act was introduced in the House during the 108th Congress to "To amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to exempt bookstores and libraries from orders requiring the production of any tangible things for certain foreign intelligence investigations, and for other purposes."
Amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978
"FISA is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which establishes a legal regime for 'foreign intelligence' surveillance separate from ordinary law enforcement surveillance."
Voices for and against the Patriot ActThis list of Internet resources was created by Jennifer Ranck.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
The ACLU and many allies on the left and right believe that before giving law enforcement new powers, Congress must first re-examine provisions of the first PATRIOT Act to ensure that is in alignment with key constitutional protections.
ALA Resolution on the Patriot Act
“The American Library Association (ALA) opposes any use of governmental power to suppress the free and open exchange of knowledge and information or to intimidate individuals exercising free inquiry…ALA considers that sections of the USA PATRIOT ACT are a present danger to the constitutional rights and privacy rights of library users.” --from ALA’s Resolution on the USA Patriot Act.
Center for Democracy & Technology
Center for Democracy & Technology – Pamphlet: “What’s Wrong with the Patriot Act and How to Fix It” Just six weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress adopted the USA PATRIOT Act. Enacted with the best intentions and in response to a serious threat, the PATRIOT Act passed under intense time pressure and without serious debate. Certainly, our government needs tools to prevent terrorism. And to the extent laws unduly tied the hands of those who protect us, those laws needed to be amended. But as so often happens in time of crisis, the pendulum swung too far. The PATRIOT Act didn’t just encourage information sharing so intelligence agencies could “connect the dots” to prevent the next attack. The Act gave the Executive Branch broad discretionary powers that are not needed in the fight against terrorism and serve only to infringe on Americans’ fundamental liberties.
CRS Report for Congress
CRS Report for Congress, The USA PATRIOT Act: A Legal Analysis, by Charles Doyle, Senior Specialist, American Law Division, April 15, 2002.
The Free Expression Policy Project
The Free Expression Policy Project – Commentary, “The Impact of the USA PATRIOT Act: An Update” by Nancy Kranich, FEPP Senior Research Fellow (and former American Library Association President). A Free Expression Policy Project commentary in May, 2003 outlined how enhanced surveillance powers granted under the USA PATRIOT Act and related measures license law enforcement officials to peer into Americans' most private reading, research, and communications. The commentary explained how the Act's hastily passed provisions not only violate the free expression and privacy rights of those using public libraries and bookstores; they also sweep aside constitutional checks and balances by authorizing intelligence agencies to gather information in situations that may be completely unconnected to a potential criminal proceeding. It also pointed out that it is not clear that these enhanced investigative capabilities will make us safer, for under the new provisions, far more information is going to the same intelligence agencies that were failing to manage the ocean of information they collected prior to September 11. This essay updates that commentary, illuminating both recent attempts to overturn portions of the law and new attempts to monitor the everyday habits of citizens.
USA Patriot Act: Preserving Life and Liberty
This PDF, from the US Department of Justice website, provides information about how the Partiot Act "protect[s] innocent Americans from the deadly plans of terrorists dedicated to destroying America and our way of life." The Department of Justice’s website also contains documents on the Patriot Act at work, the reauthorization of the Act in 2005, the implementation of the Act, and many other resources.
USA Patriot Art: Cartooning and Free Speech in War Time
Companion to a traveling exhibit of work by "political cartoonists questioning the [actions of the United States] government" in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Contains images of works, text of the introduction from the show's program, and a poster announcing the exhibit. Includes work and commentary of cartoonists Mike Marland (whose cartoon was banned), and Todd Persche (who was fired from his job).
Copyright © Bellevue College Library Media Center
June 9, 2010