Wednesday, November 09, 2005

restoring some sanity?

Congress May Curb Some Patriot Act Powers

Congress is moving to curb some of the police powers it gave the Bush administration after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, including imposing new restrictions on the
FBI's access to private phone and financial records.


Last year, a federal judge in New York struck down the national security letter statute as unconstitutional because he said the law did not permit legal challenges to the letters or a gag rule on recipients of the letters. The administration has appealed.

Civil libertarians lauded the deal's preliminary terms, saying recent accounts of the FBI's aggressive use of national security letters have lent credibility to their call for caution.

"Without those checks and balances, there will be abuses," said former Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., of Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances.

It's the least they can do. Better than nothing.


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