USA PATRIOT Act update

A few things have happened with the USA PATRIOT Act in the last week or so. The act was reauthorized, most of it indefinitely. Notably, Section 215 was changed somewhat and authorized for another four years. Library Journal has a blurb on how this affects libraries which is worth reading. I noticed that ALA President Michael Gorman had issued a statement about the reauthorization which had cycled off the main page of ALA by the following morning. I posted a note about this to the Council list (excellent archiving software that breaks all hyperlinks, huh?) and his response is back on the main page. Nothing on the main page of the Washington Office. Nothing on the main page of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, though both have fought against the USA PATRIOT Act since the beginning and do have a lot of information buried in their sites.

I was asked for a statement about the renewal and had been spending so much time with a close eyeball on my local Senators (who both voted against it) that I wasn’t entirely on top of it. You can hear a quickie interview with me on Moby Lives Radio (MP3 file). Suffice to say that I’m not mollified by the changes to Section 215 and I’m still concerned about this Act’s implications for the privacy of all library users.

PATRIOT Watch: Four more years.

Crap. My guy — yes I called his office and discussed my opinion on how I felt about the PATRIOT Act as both a librarian and his constituent — did what he could.

USA PATRIOT Act extension one step closer

The House voted to make 14 out of 16 USAPA provisions permanent yesterday. The bill — HR 3199 –that they approved also proposed 10 year extensions to our favorite section, Section 215, with an interesting change.

One amendment, passed by a 402-26 vote, requires the FBI director to personally approve any request for library or bookstore records.

summaries of USAPA hearings

beSpacific links to four articles written about yesterday’s hearings and notes their conflicintg headlines and conclusions.