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Patriot Act

The Patriot Act was rushed through Congress immediately after the terrorist attacks in 2001. It was renewed by Congress in March 2006, but remains the subject of heated debate.

Timeline - NSA Wiretaps - August 2006
Overview and timeline of NSA wiretapping scandal.

On Bi-Partisan Vote, Senate Strips 2006 Patriot Act Change
In an overwhelmingly bi-partisan vote (94-2-4), in March 2007 the Senate approved a Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) sponsored measure to "preserve the independence of United States attorneys."

How Congress Changed The Rules on US Attorney Appointments
After the House and Senate passed competing versions of the 2005 Patriot Act reauthorization, the measure went to conference committee. It was there that the White House had staff slip a paragraph into the bill that would ignite a furor in early 2007.

Timeline - NSA Wiretaps - August 2006
Overview and timeline of NSA wiretapping scandal.

Roll Call Vote - Cloture - Patriot Act Extension
Civil libertarian Republicans broke ranks on Friday, joining 40 Democrats and one Independent to give President Bush a significant legislative black eye when a filibuster successfully blocked renewal of the White House orchestrated "compromise" Patriot Act.

Bill Text - HR3199 - Patriot Act Extension
Full text of PL 109-177, which worked its way through Congress as HR3199. President Bush signed the bill in March 2006. This is a large PDF.

Bill Text - HR 3162, USA Patriot Act
Passed in response to the 9-11-2001 terrorist attack, this bill introduced many legislative changes which significantly increased surveillance powers of US law enforcement agencies.

Bill Proposal : Patriot Act Redux
ABC news 17-year veteran Justice Department reporter Beverley Lumpkin provides a detailed overview of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, also known as Patriot Act II.

ACLU - USA Patriot Act
The American Civil Liberties Union provides extensive analysis, copies of testimony, and publications detailing specific areas of the Act.

EFF Analysis - Online Activities
The Electronic Frontier Foundation monitors government efforts to control communication using new technologies and reviews 5he 342-page Patriot Act from this lens. The bill changes 15 pre-existing statutes and, according to EFF, severely impacts civil liberties in the US.

Conservative Voices Against the USA Patriot Act
The ACLU provides a collection of quotes from conservative organizations and newspaper editorials voicing opposition to this Act, such as this: "Had the Clinton administration proposed the Patriot Act, which is a real scary thing for gun owners, the Republican-controlled Congress would have been apoplectic."

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