Friday, February 10, 2006

Explain yourself, Mr. Durbin...

Schedule1 was wondering why i hadn't commented on Scooter singing like a canary and the New Orleans debacle yet. I wanted to make sure folks saw this first. Also, i find it very amusing that the presence of those two stories knocked this story on the patriot act off the top of the Times webpage. Don't worry, Schedule1, i will....

Sigh. Seems that some of the Senators who were holding up the renewal of the Patriot Act have met with the White House and have ironed out their differences. You'll remember that Sen Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with Sununu (R-NH), Hagel (R-NE), Craig, (R-ID), and Murkowski (R-AK), "opposed a House-Senate Conference Report on reauthorization of the Patriot Act because it did not provide sufficient protections for the rights of innocent Americans. "

From Hagel's press release (Durbin's page isn't opening, perhaps out of sadness), here's the text of the changes:

Attached is a summary of the changes negotiated on the Patriot Act. Summary of Changes to Patriot Act Conference Report Announced Today
Judicial Review of Section 215 Non-Disclosure order Explicit judicial review of a section 215 non-disclosure order.

o Recipient may challenge non-disclosure order after one year of receipt. Judge may overturn the non-disclosure order if the judge finds that there is no reason to believe that disclosure may endanger the national security of the United States, interfere with a criminal, counterterrorism, or counterintelligence investigation, interfere with diplomatic relations, or endanger the life or physical safety of any person. If the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, an Assistant Attorney General, or the Director of the FBI certifies that disclosure may endanger the national security of the United States or interfere with diplomatic relations, such certification shall be treated as conclusive, unless the judge finds that the certification was made in bad faith.

Naming of Attorney for NSL Recipients
Removes from the conference report the requirement that a person inform the FBI of the identity of an attorney to whom disclosure was made or will be made to obtain legal advice or legal assistance with respect to a NSL order.

Applicability of NSL’s to Libraries Adds clarification to current law that libraries, when functioning in their traditional roles, including providing Internet access, are NOT subject to section 2709 NSL’s.

Well, it's nice to know that I don't have to give my potential attorney's name to the Feds so they can tap HER phone. But the libraries? "Traditional roles"?!?! So, what's a traditional role? And Charles Babbington noted in his article for the Wasington Post that "libraries that are "Internet service providers" would remain subject to the letters, Durbin said." So what does that mean? Where is the line between internet access and internet service provider? After this tap nonsense, i need every word of every bill defined for me.

The top piece is just so frustrating... if you're subpoenad under the Patriot Act, you're also not allowed to discuss the case (under judicial order). Our new and exciting, civil liberties saving version of the Patriot Act is to allow you to challenge the gag order... AFTER A YEAR. Wow. i feel secure.

The idea that you cannot defend yourself FOR A YEAR, and they STILL do not have to drop it even then, is ridiculous. All the people around you know is that you're a terrorist. Great way to destroy someone's life. And forgive if, during the time of these illegal wiretaps, I'm a little skeptical.


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