[Libs-Or] House Judiciary Committee’s PATRIOT Act reform bill recharges debate

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Fri Nov 6 11:36:44 PST 2009

House Judiciary Committee’s PATRIOT Act reform bill recharges debate
November 06th, 2009 | Category: Civil Liberties, Intellectual Freedom, and
Privacy <http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?cat=10>,

Jenni Terry <jterry at alawash.org>
ALA Washington Office Press Officer

For Immediate Release
November 6, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s
passage of the USA PATRIOT Amendments Act of 2009 (H.R. 3845) yesterday put
Congress back on track to achieve comprehensive reform of our nation’s
surveillance laws, say the American Library Association (ALA) and the
Association of Research Libraries (ARL).

“Chairman Conyers and other leaders in the House Judiciary Committee
conducted a thorough, open debate of H.R. 3845,” ALA President Camila Alire
said. “The weak bill the Senate released after closed-door negotiations
would not provide library patrons with privacy online, but H.R. 3845
includes many provisions that will re-establish the balance between the
needs of law enforcement and the rights of the American public.”

H.R. 3845 would restore reader privacy by curbing the use of secret court
orders and National Security Letters to obtain library and bookstore records
about innocent people. Other key protections in the bill include improved
judicial review of investigations, new protections for librarians and others
who receive gag orders from the government, and more oversight of how
PATRIOT Act powers are being used.

The committee also approved an amendment from Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
expressing the sense of Congress that the President should periodically
review secret surveillance programs to determine whether they should remain
classified. The committee rejected several amendments that would have
watered down or eliminated the bill’s civil liberties protections.

“We are grateful to the members of the House Judiciary Committee for
reporting a bill that goes a long way toward restoring our civil liberties.
We especially appreciate Mr. Nadler’s passionate defense of reader privacy
during Wednesday’s mark-up,” said ARL President Brinley Franklin. “We urge
the full House to pass these balanced reforms, and we hope the Senate will
amend its bill to include similar provisions.”


Diedre Conkling
Lincoln County Library District
P.O. Box 2027
Newport, OR  97365
Work phone & fax:  541-265-3066
Work email:  diedre at beachbooks.org
Home email:  diedre08 at gmail.com
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