February 14, 2011 | By Eva Galperin

House Rubber-Stamps PATRIOT Act Renewal, Don't Let The Senate Do The Same!

Despite the valiant efforts of liberty-defending congresspersons from both political parties, the House of Representatives has just this evening passed an extension of the three USA PATRIOT Act surveillance powers that were set to "sunset" at the end of February, by a vote of 275 to 144. Now, the Senate is our last hope to stop PATRIOT renewal and obtain meaningful PATRIOT reform. The Senate is expected to vote on a PATRIOT renewal bill this week, so contact your Senators today and urge them to vote NO on the PATRIOT Act!

Of the 144 votes against the House bill, 26 came from Republicans, who argued that the law's broad surveillance powers constitute a big government intrusion into the lives of private citizens. For example, California Republican Dana Rohrabacher said:

I believe the American people have a legitimate fear of out-of-control government. And yes, they have a legitimate fear of out-of-control prosecutors and out-of-control spy networks.

Democratic Representative Bobby Scott of Virginia added:

I do not accept the argument that in order to be safe it's necessary to give up our rights and freedoms.

Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith insisted that the House's extension of the expiring PATRIOT provisions until December 8, 2010 was "the only way to provide House members the time to study the law" and consider changes. Of course, that's exactly what Congressional leaders said in February 2010, the last time Congress renewed PATRIOT. Don't let it happen again: contact your Senators now to oppose PATRIOT renewal and demand PATRIOT reform!


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

How China is strong-arming coders to abandon their open source projects: https://eff.org/r.wso1

Aug 28 @ 4:20pm

Introducing a powerful new tool to help stop the California virtual currency license: https://eff.org/r.5qg6

Aug 28 @ 2:14pm

HTTPS encryption may have gotten the better of Russian censors trying to block a Wikipedia article: https://eff.org/r.vk6f

Aug 28 @ 1:55pm
JavaScript license information