What do you want to bet the New York Times, Washington Post, and other establishment media outlets take more than twice as many words to report this story less than half as clearly as the Adult Video News does below (the part of the subhead in brackets was my addition, however). And what a sorry story it is. John Conyers, his colleagues, and Barack Obama all need to be b---- slapped. I wish I had more faith that the American public would see through this load of "we have no other choice" bull----.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
Obama Extends Controversial PATRIOT Act Provisions For One Year
[Fasci--- uh, I mean] Republicans wanted provisions renewed for four years
Posted Feb 28th, 2010 07:18 PM by Ann Oui
WASHINGTON, DC—President Obama on Saturday signed a one-year extension of three provisions of the PATRIOT Act, including one the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) has called "the most dangerous to our civil liberties." The House had previosly voted to extend the provisions, which were due to expire Sunday.
Speaking from the House floor on Friday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich) said the law will “extend three provisions of our foreign intelligence surveillance laws for 1 year. The provisions are section 206 of the PATRIOT Act, governing roving wiretaps; section 215, which addresses the collection of business records; and the so-called ‘lone wolf surveillance’ law. Without extension, these provisions will expire on Sunday coming.”
Conyers said that despite a year of work by his committee on reforms to the law that he said "needs a great deal of improvement," and the passage by the Senate Judiciary Committee of a bill that he said improves the Act, there was, he conceded, no time left in which to reform the law before the three provisions were due to expire.
"In other words," he said, "we have no other choice but to go along with this extension because there isn’t sufficient time. Well, tomorrow is the last day of the week. It’s physically impossible. So under these circumstances, it seems to me the best course is to merely maintain the status quo and work with the other body and the administration towards some improvements that I have in mind."
In 2006, EFF wrote of Section 215, as it was facing an earlier sunset deadline, "Section 215 allows the FBI secretly to order anyone to turn over business records or any other "tangible things," so long as the FBI tells the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court that the information sought is 'for an authorized investigation...to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.' These demands for records come with a "gag order" prohibiting the recipient from telling anyone, ever, that they received a Section 215 order."
Though business records could have been seized before the PATRIOT Act became law, EFF identified two key safeguards that the law removed.
"First, the FBI could only get a few types of records that were of particular use in investigating terrorists and spies—records belonging to hotels, motels, car and truck rental agencies, and storage rental facilities," said EFF. "Second, the FBI had to present to the FISA court 'specific and articulable facts giving reason to believe that the person to whom the records pertain[ed]' was a spy or terrorist."
Asserting that the law meant that the FBI could now get anything they wanted by secret order, including "including financial records, medical records, student records, even your library records—without ever having to prove that they have probable cause to suspect you of a crime, or even that your records are relevant to an investigation"—EFF, in 2006 as it has for the current renewal, called specifically for Section 15 to be allowed to sunset on constitutional as well as other grounds.
"Of the PATRIOT provisions scheduled to sunset," it concluded, "Section 215 is the most dangerous to our civil liberties."
Despite concerns expressed by civil libertarians and many in Congress that the provions should be allowed to die, as well as countervailing pressure from Republican lawmakers to extend the provisions for four years, the House passed the one-year renewal Thursday by a vote of 315-97, which the President signed into law Saturday.