ACLU Campaign to Tell Congress it’s Time to Reform the Patriot Amendments

By: Harry Waisbren

The ACLU has an online campaign that we have added to our action listings on the Patriot Act Action Hub. This effort pushes the House of Representatives to pass a strong bill that would genuinely reform the Patriot Act.

You can help out by asking your representative to co-sponsor the USA Patriot Amendments Act of 2009 by plugging in their information to send them the following letter:

I write as a concerned constituent. Government surveillance of the communications and activities of innocent Americans has increased exponentially since the events of September 11, 2001. I urge you to support investigations of, and amendments to, the Patriot Act and other surveillance laws that have fundamentally diminished the rights of Americans. This is the best chance to rein in the out-of-control government powers embedded in the Patriot Act since it was enacted.

H.R. 3845, The USA Patriot Amendments Act of 2009, protects constitutional speech and privacy rights by:

*   Amending  the national security letter statute to ensure that the government obtains financial, communication and credit records only of people believed to be terrorists or spies;
*   Requiring the government to convince a court that a national security gag order is necessary;
*   Ensuring that the so-called “library records provision” does not authorize collection of library and bookstore records if they contain information on the patron.

As you can imagine, the bill is not perfect. It leaves the Patriot Act’s so-called “material support” provision intact, permitting prosecution of those who work with or for charities that give humanitarian aid in good faith to war-torn countries.  Please support adding a provision that would limit prosecution to those who actually intend to support terrorist-oriented actions.

I urge you to co-sponsor the USA Patriot Amendments Act of 2009.  It’s time that our government stop violating the rights of everyday people who have nothing to do with terrorism.

I look forward to your response on this important matter.

It doesn’t take long at all to write in your information, so act now on this important cause!

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