Posts Tagged 'Library Provision'

Action Alert! Ask Senate to amend PATRIOT Act reauthorization bill, S 1038

S 1038, the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011, may be voted on soon, before the May 27th sunset date.  The bill sets the new expiration date of 2015 for three provisions—Section 215 known as the “library provision,” the roving wire taps and the lone wolf.  The American Library Association (ALA) opposes this bill without amendment.

ALA does support the following amendments:

  • Senator Rand Paul’s amendment to return Section 215 to its pre-2001 form and protect the privacy of library users is ideal.
  • Senator Patrick Leahy and Rand Paul’s amendment to add reforms from Senator Leahy’s bill, S 193, is good because it includes improved reader privacy protections.
  •  If nothing else, amend the bill to include a sunset in 2013, rather than 2015, to allow for meaningful debate on these issues to occur sooner.

For more details on these amendments and ALA’s endorsement, please see the District Dispatch posting for details on why ALA supports this change.

Please contact Senators Mikulski and Cardin asking for their support of these amendments.  Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide.

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Senate Committee approves amended PATRIOT Act

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill, the USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act of 2011 (S 193), to reauthorize three provisions of the PATRIOT Act, including Section 215, the “library provision.”  The amendment requires that the government show a connection to terrorism or espionage before obtaining library or bookstore records.  Additionally, the National Security Letters will have a sunset.

The bill will now move to the Senate floor.  The current extension expires on May 27, 2011.

For more information, please see the District Dispatch posting.

USA PATRIOT Act extension bill fails in House

Last night, the House voted on HR 514—a bill to extend, with no changes, the expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 until December 8, 2011. The bill did not pass.

Maryland’s delegation had an interesting split on the vote:

  • For: Harris, Ruppersberger, Hoyer and Van Hollen
  • Against: Sarbanes, Edwards, Bartlett, Sarbanes

Background information on this bill and issue from the American Library Association (ALA), as well as details on S 290 (a version of the bill that is supported by ALA) are available.


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