Thursday, January 05, 2006

New expiration date for the Patriot Act

Sixteen provisions of the Patriot Act are due to expire February 3. The Columbia Basin Herald editorial board writes that the Act should expire.

They argue, that while convincing arguments exist for the Act, law enforcement should obtain warrants. FISA attempts to expedite the warrant process, but Government is not required to let you know if they obtained a FISA warrant to investigate you.

The editorial article in the Herald argues that:

"The Patriot Act seems designed to avoid warrants, which is a judge's permission to spy during a law enforcement investigation. Warrants balance the power authorities have to disregard our privacy and violate our constitutional rights. They help keep law enforcement honest. Any law removing the need for a warrant is in conflict with our Constitution."
Public support for the Patriot Act appears to be dwindling, which would explain why the White House has amped up its efforts to gain support for it. I think most people are like me and fairly torn. If these online poll results are accurate, it also points to a dwindling support.

On the other hand, some stongly support the Patriot Act, such as the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. On their website, they write: "Most of the proposals for reform mistake the appearance of potential problems and abuse (the myth) with the reality of no abuse at all--and, thus, the case for change has not been made."

Now is a great time to take part in the democratic process and voice your opinions by e-mailing your Senator or Congress representative

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