Friday, January 14, 2011

Congress Prepares to Renew Patriot Act for Another Year

by Jason Ditz

H.R. 67, a new bill introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R – MI), would extend the Patriot Act’s provisions which would be set to sunset in February through an additional year.

The House had approved a previous extension in February of last year, but only after abandoning the privacy protections that were angrily objected to by the Obama Administration. At the time, that bill was slipped into the “Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act.”

The new version is expected to face even less resistence, as there is no indication of any Congressional support remaining for anything that might remotely enhance the privacy of ordinary Americans.

Civil liberty groups have been complaining about a number of provisions of the Patriot Act since the start, but despite President Obama’s campaign promises for reforms the act is funamentally identical to when he took office, and his Justice Department has fought hard against any prospective revisions.


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