Because my blog does not have a large readership, I am not terribly disappointed to have received no comments to my post regarding the PATRIOT Act Sunset. I did, however, receive one email, but it did not supply me with a specific thesis on which to base any relevant discussion. I tried to give the opportunity to frame the debate to those who would dislike the legislation, but I digress... You may remember that I asked one question of the opponents of the PATRIOT Act. It was essentially, which sections of the Act offend you? I don't believe this to be an improper, or illogical question to ask. The Act has been in effect for three and one-half years. Plenty of time to ferret out the major controversies. I simply want to carry the discussion beyond slogans. As has been stated elsewhere, sixteen provisions are set to expire at the end of this year unless Congress acts to renew these. Today, 203(b) and 203(d) will be considered by Congress. These sections allow for information sharing between Intelligence Organizations with the U.S. and Criminal Authorities. Ironically, "...were section 203(b) allowed to expire, United States law enforcement
officers would be allowed to share certain foreign intelligence information collected
through criminal investigative wiretaps with foreign intelligence services, such as MI-5,
see 18 U.S.C. § 2517(7), but would arguably not be allowed to share that same
information with the CIA."(PDF) The major opponent to have weighed in on these two sections is the ACLU. See below for the CNET post on today's event.
Congress to review Patriot Act on Tuesday | News.blog | CNET News.com