Senators Seek to Amend Patriot Act
Senators concerned about civil rights are looking to reinstate limits on government surveillance powers.WASHINGTONSenators concerned about the impact of the USA Patriot Act on civil rights spoke out today in favor of amending the hastily passed law to reinstate limits on government surveillance powers. Proponents of amending the USA Patriot Act hope to see such legislation included in one of the spending bills Congress plans to pass before adjourning this year. As grass roots momentum grows to curb some of the more far-reaching government surveillance authorities enacted in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, members of Congress are responding. Much of the concern is aimed at provisions that give the FBI new powers to monitor Americans with little judicial oversight.
The latest legislative initiative, the Security and Freedom Ensured (SAFE) Act, was introduced earlier this month by Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho. The bipartisan-sponsored bill would place checks on the FBIs powers, including additional congressional and judicial oversight on the agency.