Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Senate Follows House In Extending Patriot Act Spy Provisions

Both of South Dakota's Senators followed House member Kristi Noem and voted last night to extend  three controversial Patriot Act spy measures that were set to expire in a few weeks. Tim Johnson and John Thune concluded that our 4th Amendment wasn't important and voted to allow our government to continue the following Constitutionally challenged activities:

• “Roving wiretap” provision that allows the FBI to obtain wiretaps from a secret intelligence court, known as the FISA court (for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), without identifying the target or what method of communication is to be tapped.

• The “lone wolf” measure allows FISA court warrants for the electronic monitoring of a person for whatever reason — even without showing that the suspect is an agent of a foreign power or a terrorist. The government has said it has never invoked that provision, but the Obama administration said it wanted to retain the authority to do so.

• The “business records” provision allows FISA court warrants for any type of record, from banking to library to medical, without the government having to declare that the information sought is connected to a terrorism or espionage investigation.

As for our fearless leader Barack Obama coming to the rescue by not signing this? Not going to happen as he is on record wanting these provisions extended as well.

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