ACLU Calls on Congress to Make Meaningful Changes to Patriot Act, Says Privacy and Civil Liberties Still Remain at Risk

February 1, 2006 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union today urged Congress to make modest, but meaningful changes to restore checks and balances to the Patriot Act as the House extended the deadline for certain provisions of the law to “sunset” or expire. On a voice vote, the House extended the expiration date to March 10, 2006. The Senate is expected to adopt the same measure.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office

“Congress must use the next six weeks to reform the invasive powers expanded by the Patriot Act to better protect the privacy and liberty of ordinary and innocent Americans. The conference report as adopted by the House fails to honor the promises of our Constitution. The issue isn’t the length of the extension; it’s about making commonsense, but needed, reforms to the law.

“The White House and its allies must support better safeguards in the Patriot Act. More than 400 communities nationwide, and people from all parts of the political spectrum, have voiced their support for these necessary reforms. The privacy of Americans remains in great peril, especially following revelations that the president has directed the National Security Agency to engage in warrantless, illegal domestic surveillance. Congress must respect the rule of law and take steps to better protect the privacy and freedom of innocent Americans.”

For more on the ACLU’s concerns with the Patriot Act, go to:

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