Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Patriot Act Under Review

In 2005 parts of the Patriot Act will be up for renewal. Among them is a provision that allows the government to detain foreign citizens without due process for consorting, even unknowingly, with terrorists. Also up for renewal is the provision that allows the government to look into your library check out habits, bank accounts and other personal records to see if you’ve been up to no good.

I’ve heard the argument that if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide … but that’s just not a good excuse. I have a fundamental problem with snooping without cause, because many actions or habits could be construed as suspicious. I also have a deep-seated problem with allowing people to rot in jail until the time the government sees fit to release them.

I don’t disagree with the entire Act, but certainly parts of it need to be critically reviewed now that we’re not emotionally overcharged by the 9/11 tragedy.

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