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Legislative Analysis

Legislative Analysis

Obama Sides with Republicans; PATRIOT Act Renewal Bill Passes Senate Judiciary Committee Minus Critical Civil Liberties Reforms

Well, it looks like most of the Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee weren't swayed by this morning's New York Times editorial, which cited this morning's Committee meeting to consider USA PATRIOT Act renewal as a "critical chance to add missing civil liberties and privacy protections, address known abuses...

Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger: PATRIOT Edition

Yesterday's Senate Judiciary mark-up of legislation to renew expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act was extremely disheartening--in particular because of many committee Democrats' failure to support new civil liberties reforms to PATRIOT(see our summary here). Those Senators who failed to stand foursquare behind Americans' right to privacy against...

PATRIOT Act Debate Must Include Reform of Last Year's FISA Amendments Act

Today, the American Constitution Society's blog, ACSblog, was gracious enough to let EFF's Kevin Bankston guest blog about the current debate over renewal of the USA PATRIOT Act. Kevin took the opportunity to highlight the need for Congress to revisit the broad surveillance authority granted by last year's FISA...

NYT: New Obama Policy on State Secrets isn't Enough; Reform by Congress is Needed

Today's New York Times included an excellent editorial on the Obama Adminstration's new policy toward the state secrets privilege. Echoing EFF's disappointment in the new procedures, the editorial explains:
The other day, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. issued new guidelines for invoking the state secrets privilege in...

PATRIOT Debate Round-Up: Dems Press Obama for Reforms; Leahy Bill a Good Start But Doesn't Stack Up to Last Week's JUSTICE Bill

Following last week's introduction by Senators Feingold and Durbin of the JUSTICE Act bill, the debate over renewal and reform of the USA PATRIOT Act kicked into over-drive this week with a second bill introduced in the Senate and hearings in both the House and Senate. The week's events...

EFF Supports JUSTICE Bill to Reform the USA PATRIOT Act and Repeal Telecom Immunity

On December 31, three provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act that broadly expanded government surveillance authority in the wake of 9/11 are set to expire.Actually, although the three expiring provisions are commonly referred to in the press as being PATRIOT provisions, one of the expiring provisions — the so-called "lone...


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