EFF: Surveillance Legislation Continues to Threaten Privacy

    Date26 Sep 2001
    CategoryPrivacy
    3257
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urges continued activism against the "Anti-Terrorism Act" (ATA), proposed by the US Department of Justice, and related legislation (presently 3 bills), because many provisions of the bills would dramatically alter the civil liberties landscape through unnecessarily broad restrictions on free speech and privacy rights in the United States and abroad. Your urgent action is needed TODAY.. . . The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urges continued activism against the "Anti-Terrorism Act" (ATA), proposed by the US Department of Justice, and related legislation (presently 3 bills), because many provisions of the bills would dramatically alter the civil liberties landscape through unnecessarily broad restrictions on free speech and privacy rights in the United States and abroad. Your urgent action is needed TODAY.

    EFF again urges Congress to act with deliberation in approving only measures that are effective in preventing terrorism while protecting the freedoms of Americans.

    EFF believes this broad legislation would radically tip the United States system of checks and balances, giving the government unprecedented authority to surveil American citizens with little judicial or other oversight.

    Ashcroft's proposed legislation (distributed Sep. 19) comes in the wake of the Senate's hasty passage of the "Combating Terrorism Act" (CTA) on the evening of Sep. 13 with less than 30 minutes of consideration on the Senate floor. On Sep. 20, Rep. Lamar Smith circulated a draft bill very similar to CTA, called the Public Safety and Cyber Security Enhancement Act (PSCSEA)

    The ATA/MATA is currently a draft bill, subject to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and briefing on Mon., Sep. 24. The CTA is presently a Senate-passed amendment to a House appropriations bill. It is expected to be voted on in joint conference committee early next week. The only real pressure point on the CTA is the conference committee; whatever emerges will almost certainly pass both houses near-unanimously. PSCSEA's future is uncertain at this point, as is that of Leahy's (presently unavailble) draft.

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