Friday, February 26, 2010

Who is afraid of Big Brother?

Very few it would seem at least if they are politicians. No doubt everyone will see this as directed against terrorists so it will be hunky dory. Apparently this is so routine that it does not even need debate. Authorities can demand to know what you read, and can keep you under surveillance even though there is nothing linking you to a terrorist organisation! All of this is just added in without any debate tacked on to a bill that has nothing to do with the Patriot Act. This is from

House Abandons Privacy Protections, Approves PATRIOT Act
Parts of Act Were Poised to Expire Sunday
by Jason Ditz,
The House of Representatives narrowly averted allowing the US Patriot Act to expire, abandoning all the proposed privacy provisions to the bill and approving it exactly as worded by the Senate in a vote earlier this week. Parts of Patriot Act would have expired Sunday, but passed through the Senate without debate.

The vote, incredibly enough titled the “Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act,” passed 315-97. The bill was so named because Senate Democrats inserted the Patriot Act’s extension into a Medicare reform bill.

Three sections of the Patriot Act were to “sunset” this year, including the roving wiretap provision, the library records seizure provision, and the “lone wolf” provision, which permitted surveillance against possible terrorists even if there was no evidence tying them to any terror organization.

The Obama Administration had expressed concern about the addition of civil rights protections to the bill, but said they would consider them so long as they didn’t weaken the president’s powers. In the end such consideration will be unneccesary, because the neither the House nor the Senate saw fit to include any protections at all.

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