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Blog

Counter Terrorism and Illicit Finance Act is Garbage

Members of Congress love tunefully titling bills to hide massive government expansion. A great example is the Counter Terrorism and Illicit Finance Act, a gross privacy violation that would authorize bureaucratic snooping through private financial records.

12/05/2017
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Blog

A Lesson from post 9/11 Politics

As we conclude this month that marked the sixteenth anniversary of September 11th, we must carry with us the lesson that the attack brought to our collective quest for freedom. Terrorism is a threat we all fear. While we must try to prevent American citizens from being murdered by terrorists, we must also guard against the eroding of our rights. The USA Patriot Act has most affected freedom at home. In memory of the victims of 9/11, we should consider the lessons that the attacks and the fallout taught us about the whimsical nature of freedom.

09/18/2017
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Op-ed Placement

Congress Might Expand the Patriot Act to Areas that Have Nothing To Do with Terrorism

Last summer, there was a legislative effort in the House of Representatives to expand the USA Patriot Act, the controversial post-Sept. 11 anti-terrorism law. Thankfully, the effort failed. But there are rumors from staffers on Capitol Hill that Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., the lead sponsor of the bill that failed last year, is currently shopping a new version in anticipation of reintroduction.

09/09/2017
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Op-ed Placement

Congress Seeks to Expand Warrantless Surveillance Under the Patriot Act

BY Adam Brandon and Karin Johanson

How would you feel if the Federal Bureau of Investigation could get information about websites you visited or emails you sent – without ever getting permission from a judge? Would you begin to self-censor the websites you visited – maybe avoiding revealing sites? Or, avoid emailing your pastor, therapist, or lawyer? These scenarios may soon no longer be hypothetical.

06/22/2016
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Blog

Passing the USA Freedom Act: A Difficult First Act in the Great Surveillance Debate

After sometimes-dramatic and often-tense several weeks, the USA Freedom Act finally passed the Senate. The act’s passage brings the government’s telephone data surveillance program under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act back from its brief retirement, but with reforms that stop its worst abuses. Although the USA Freedom Act was certainly not the level of reform that many had hoped for, it passage nevertheless sent a clear signal that the days of Congress simply rubber-stamping endless surveillance programs are over.

06/03/2015
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The FBI can't identify any major case developments under Section 215 of the Patriot Act

The Inspector General of the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed in a report released on Thursday that spying powers claimed under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act has "not identified any major case developments" through the controversial statue. The report covers a three-year period between 2007 through 2009 and notes that the nation's top domestic law enforcement agency tripled its use of Section 215 requests beginning in 2004.

05/26/2015
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Executive Spying Goes Further than the Patriot Act

On Sunday, the Senate will vote on reauthorizing Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the controversial section that allows the bulk collection of telephone metadata. Actually, it doesn’t allow it, according to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, but everyone is still acting like it does and framing the debate accordingly.

05/26/2015
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Blog

Rand Paul's Latest Stand Has Bought Another Chance for Real Surveillance Reform

UPDATE: Senator Paul is standing firm on his promise to hold out for better surveillance reforms. Since Senator McConnell has thus far shown no indication that he will allow the amendment votes that Rand has asked for, there is a good chance that Section 215 of the Patriot Act will be allowed to expire Sunday night.

05/21/2015
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Passionate Youth Stand with Rand to End Mass Surveillance

Yesterday, Senator Rand Paul proved yet again that he is dedicated to upholding the Constitution. For eleven hours, the Kentucky Senator claimed the senate floor to filibuster the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, which permits mass surveillance of American citizens. Warrantless spying and bulk data collection has been a massive infringement on our basic fourth amendment rights. Even 65% of American adults believe there are not adequate limits on the telephone and internet data that the government collects, according to a recent Pew poll.

05/21/2015
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Blog

Rand Paul made the constitutional conservative case for justice reform in his nearly 11-hour filibuster

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) offered a nearly 11-hour constitutional seminar on Wednesday evening. He defended Americans’ civil liberties against problematic provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act that have been broadly interpreted to allow the federal government to illegally conduct mass surveillance against law-abiding Americans.

05/21/2015

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