Main Topic Privacy Surveillance

Burn the PATRIOT Act to the ground

The PATRIOT Act, that abomination to our 4th Amendment right to privacy, is yet again up for renewal in H.R. 6172, which passed in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

Senators Daines (R-CO), Leahy (D-VT), Lee (R-UT), Paul (R-KY) and Wyden (D-OR) have put forward three amendments to reform it. Should these amendments pass unchanged, journalists, political and religious organizations would have a voice when the rubber stamp Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court reviews whether the government should spy on them. Also, the government could not get your Americans’ internet search and browsing history without a warrant. Both are good changes.

Of course, Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) opposes these improvements. The Senate is debating this bill and its amendments this week. Now would be the time to contact Senators Warren and Markey and urge them to vote for the good amendments and against the ultimate bill. Call them at:

  • Warren: Senate office at (202) 224-4543. Her local offices are at (617) 565-3170 / (413) 788-2690
  • Markey: Senate office at (202) 224-2742. His local office is at (617) 565-8519

And yet …

… Warren and Markey are good Democrats who (mostly) support people’s right to privacy, but never filibuster these renewals. No doubt they consider a filibuster useless as there are always enough Democrats from other states who support these bills. Even a potentially symbolic filibuster is too much for them.

The only way we are going to burn the PATRIOT Act to the ground, salt the ashes left behind and restore our privacy is to replace Democrats and Republicans with Pirates in the House and Senate. 2022 beckons, but it is up to us to answer the call.

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