The December 31 deadline for reauthorizing three key clauses of the Patriot Act — and the possibility of introducing reforms in the process — is fast approaching. In response, Get FISA Right has put together an Open Letter to President Obama, and we're seeking your signature on the letter in the form below.
While the legislative details are complex (see Kim Zetter’s Handy Chart Tracks Proposed Amendments to the Patriot Act for details) the basic outline of the debate so far is straightforward:
• pro-civil liberties Democrats are proposing significant new protections
• Republicans and “independent” Joe Lieberman are proposing reauthorization without any new protections
• Blue Dogs are somewhere in between
• the Obama administration has spoken of its openness to reform, but during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings worked behind the scenes with Senator Sessions to significantly weaken the legislation.
That’s not the change many of us thought we were voting for, and so we at Get FISA Right are gathering signatures on an open letter to President Obama. We're asking him to take a stand, to support significant reform, and to live up to his commitment to transparency by taking this stand publicly. What we ask in the letter specifically is that he:
"take a strong stand to support significant reform of key sections of the Patriot Act, incuding National Security Letters, Section 215, Lone Wolf, Sneak and peek, and material support. Legislatively, we ask for your public support of HR 3845 and 3846, and amendments adding similar protections to S 1692."
What can you do?
If civil liberties are important to you, we're asking you to join us, to sign our open letter and to spread the word. Sign the letter right here on this page (just fill in the form below and Send the Letter) or at the Bill of Rights Defense Committee site. You can help us spread the word via the retweet and facebook links here.