Senator Murkowski Co-sponsors
Bill To Amend Patriot Act
April 08, 2005
Washington, D.C.- Saying that the Patriot Act is in need of correction
to ensure protection of American rights and freedoms, Senator
Lisa Murkowski on Thursday co-sponsored legislation to amend
In co-sponsoring the Security
and Freedom Enhancement Act of 2005 (SAFE Act), Murkowski said
that the bipartisan bill would revise several portions of the
USA Patriot Act to further protect the constitutional rights
of Americans while preserving the expanded powers law enforcement
agencies need to fight terrorism.
"While we certainly recognize
the need for our law enforcement community to have the necessary
tools to defeat terrorism, we can not offer security at the expense
of the Constitutional freedoms that are at the heart of America,"
Senator Murkowski said. "Similar to the legislation I introduced
last Congress, the SAFE act will appropriately tailor the Patriot
Act to protect personal freedoms while still granting the necessary
tools to the law enforcement communities."
Provisions of the SAFE Act
- The SAFE Act would retain
the Patriot Act's authorization for roving wiretaps but would
eliminate "John Doe" taps where the person being tapped
or the phone being tapped is not identified before authorization
to begin the tap is granted. · The SAFE Act would retain
the Patriot Act's authorization of delayed notification of searches
or "sneak and peek" searches when compelling reasons
to delay are satisfied. However, it would eliminate the catch-all
provision that allows sneak and peek searches in any circumstances
seriously jeopardizing an investigation or delaying a trial.
The SAFE Act would require notification of a covert search within
seven days, instead of the undefined delay that is currently
permitted by the Patriot Act.
- The Safe Act would restore
a standard of individualized suspicion before a Federal Intelligence
Surveillance Act (FISA) order for library or other personal records
can be obtained and would create procedural protections to prevent
abuses. As is required for grand jury subpoenas, the SAFE act
would give the recipient of a FISA order the right to challenge
the order, require a government showing that a gag order is necessary,
place a limit on the gag order and give the recipient the right
to challenge the gag order.
- The SAFE Act would also require
increased public reporting on the use of FISA orders.
- Similar to the rights and
procedures for FISA orders, the SAFE Act would set guidelines
for the use of National Security Letter to obtain personal records.
The government would have to show reason that the records sought
relate to a suspected terrorist or spy.
- The SAFE Act would limit the
qualifying offenses for domestic terrorism to those that constitute
a federal crime of terrorism, instead of any federal or state
crime, as is currently the case. The overbroad definition of
domestic terrorism in the Patriot Act could include acts of civil
disobedience - acts which are illegal but not necessarily terrorist
Source of News:
Office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski
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