Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Small Victory Over the Patriot Act

I felt a need to write a small article on a topic that elates me beyond belief.

A provision of the PATRIOT ACT allowed law enforcement to monitor library and bookstore records of "suspected terrorists". The meaning of suspected terrorist is so broad that it could literally include anyone.

This house voted yesterday to change that provision.

Now law enforcement must first obtain a warrant or a subpoena to access these records. This is a great victory for personal liberties. You can now check out books from the library or buy books from a store on whatever topic you like without the fear of getting arrested based solely on the subject matter of your reading. You will first have to have done something to cause law enforcement to believe you're breaking a law before they can access these records.

There are many other provisions of this law which need to be modified or completely reversed, but this is a great start. I applaud the nearly 200 cities and two states which have passed resolutions against the PATRIOT ACT, and I urge you to all fight for the same in your cities and states.