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Don't Allow Risk of Renewal, Fully Repeal the "Patriot" Act and Associated Components

by Hawke published Jan 18, 2022 10:35 AM, last modified Jan 18, 2022 10:57 AM
Since day 1 I have railed against the Patriot Act. I discussed on many talk shows the "unintended" as well as the intended consequences of this complete violation of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.

"On the 20th anniversary (October 26, 2021) of the passage of the Patriot Act, former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold penned a piece in the Nation outlining why he opposed the bill in 2001. He wrote that he voted against the Patriot Act, “because of the cost it was asking the American people to pay in the form of their civil rights, particularly their privacy rights and especially for people of color. My fears on this front have come to pass over the past 20 years, and our country has yet to fully reckon with the discriminatory impact of the Patriot Act on communities of color.”

I (and many others that were also ignored/drowned-out) warned all that there was no way they would honor the 5 year sunset clause. Only one senator voted against it, Bernie Sanders, the first time. Numbers were a little larger when it came up for renewal, but not significantly.

It is long overdue to repeal this egregious destruction of US citizens, visitors (and other countries) liberties and privacy.

An increasing number of people are starting to wake up to understanding just how much damage this singularly evil bill has caused.

But will it be enough to nudge congress to repealing it?

Do you think that the Patriot Act should be repealed? -

Too many people want (false) guarantees of security and safety over freedom or privacy, and we have now an entire generation raised not knowing how dramatically different, and better, it was for everyone's freedoms and privacy before the so-called "Patriot" Act, most people do not have a clue about this unfortunately.. This generation raised under the bill, most of those that I have interviewed, have no idea what it is, why it is, what the impact is, and just how dramatically different (and much freer) everyone's daily life was prior to this totalitarian power grab.

Some key most egregious violations include:

  • Authorization of indefinite detention without trial
  • Due to the permission given to law enforcement to search property and records without a warrant, consent, or knowledge.

Since its passage, several legal challenges have been brought against the act, and federal courts have ruled that a number of provisions are unconstitutional.

Wikipedia explanation of the US Patriot Act:

This is a severely abused bill that has enabled previously "unimaginable" violations of due process, incarceration limitations, search and seizure, and so much more, not to mention the gargantuan government bloat supporting these abuses.

Both parties are to blame for this horrible legislation, but arguably initially most especially conservative Republicans for pushing and extending the first 9 years (though it was republicans that pushed for the initial sunset clauses), then Obama the following years. However in over the years this has flipped, with increasingly along party lines in 2020 where most Democrat congress members voting for extension and republicans voting against.

There have been attempts (that keep dying) to get a bill on the floor for repealing it, but unfortunately it has not had enough traction from citizens, so the congress has not had sufficient inducement to even seriously consider such an important repeal.

H.R.8970 - To repeal the USA PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, and for other purposes. -

Of all the harm caused to the USA and fellow citizens this bill is the most impactful, far-reaching, and harmful. No other bill in generations has done so much harm. This reaches into all aspects of life, and impacts all demographics. This should be the most activated topic if you care about any kind of civil rights for any group, then this should be number one on your agenda.

Fortunately, due to (surprisingly) Republicans against democrats pushed back against the extension (and Trump threatening to veto an extension), so in 2020 technically the core bill is expired, can still be quickly resumed if congress has the will.
However, there are still lingering consequences of the tyranny of this bill, that need to be addressed to try to claw back the many freedoms still lost and being constantly violated.

Yes, Section 215 Expired. Now What?

"it is only one of a number of largely overlapping surveillance authorities. The loss of the current version of the law will still leave the government with a range of tools that is still incredibly powerful. These include other provisions of FISA as well as surveillance authorities used in criminal investigations, many of which can include gag orders to protect sensitive information."


ermit the Attorney General to indefinitely incarcerate or detain non-citizens based on mere suspicion, and to deny re-admission to the United States of non-citizens (including lawful permanent residents) for engaging in speech protected by the First Amendment.      Create a broad new definition of "domestic terrorism" that could sweep in people who engage in acts of political protest and subject them to wiretapping and enhanced penalties. 

  • Minimize judicial supervision of telephone and Internet surveillance by law enforcement authorities in anti-terrorism investigations and in routine criminal investigations unrelated to terrorism.      
  • Expand the ability of the government to conduct secret searches -- again in anti-terrorism investigations and in routine criminal investigations unrelated to terrorism.      
  • Give the Attorney General and the Secretary of State the power to designate domestic groups as terrorist organizations and block any non-citizen who belongs to them from entering the country. Under this provision the payment of membership dues is a deportable offense.      
  • Grant the FBI broad access to sensitive medical, financial, mental health, and educational records about individuals without having to show evidence of a crime and without a court order.      
  • Lead to large-scale investigations of American citizens for "intelligence" purposes and use of intelligence authorities to by-pass probable cause requirements in criminal cases.      
  • Put the CIA and other intelligence agencies back in the business of spying on Americans by giving the Director of Central Intelligence the authority to identify priority targets for intelligence surveillance in the United States.      
  • Allow searches of highly personal financial records without notice and without judicial review based on a very low standard that does not require probable cause of a crime or even relevancy to an ongoing terrorism investigation.      
  • Allow student records to be searched based on a very low standard of relevancy to an investigation.      

UPDATE: Interestingly, a search on Google for "patriot act" "2022" only yields a large number of bank links. (January 18, 2022)




Additional References

What title should Signing Agents use on a USA Patriot Act Form?  By NNA Staff on January 3, 2022 -

WSJ Claims "The Patriot Act Wasn’t Meant to Target Parents "

Why does it matter to libraries?