RealNews

Patriot Act Expansion Debated

A secret domestic security plan to expand electronic surveillance power treads too heavily on individual privacy, say displeased lawmakers and policy experts. And many members of Congress are unhappy about how the 120-page proposal came about. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee say the Justice Department repeatedly denied it was developing a bill to expand the government’s spying authority outlined in the Patriot Act, which was rushed through Congress shortly after the September 11, 2001, attacks. That act gave the FBI and Justice Department broad new authority to use wiretaps, electronic eavesdropping, and a number of other information-gathering techniques. The draft Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, dubbed the Patriot Act II, was marked “confidential” and leaked on February 7. No legislator has yet stepped forward to sponsor it as legislation. Full Story

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