U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) have introduced the Surveillance State Repeal Act. The Democratic bill would repeal the Patriot Act and NSA’s domestic surveillance program.
The bill would completely repeal the Patriot Act and order the destruction of all information on US citizens that are not under active investigation that was collected under the Patriot Act:
The USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 8 107-56) is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.
(b) DESTRUCTION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION.—The Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General shall destroy any information collected under the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56) and the amendments made by such Act, as in effect the day before the date of the enactment of this Act, concerning a United States person that is not related to an investigation that is actively ongoing on such date.
Rep. Pocan said, “The warrantless collection of millions of personal communications from innocent Americans is a direct violation of our constitutional right to privacy. Revelations about the NSA’s programs reveal the extraordinary extent to which the program has invaded Americans’ privacy. I reject the notion that we must sacrifice liberty for security- we can live in a secure nation which also upholds a strong commitment to civil liberties. This legislation ends the NSA’s dragnet surveillance practices, while putting provisions in place to protect the privacy of American citizens through real and lasting change.”
Rep. Massie said, “The Patriot Act contains many provisions that violate the Fourth Amendment and have led to a dramatic expansion of our domestic surveillance state. Our Founding Fathers fought and died to stop the kind of warrantless spying and searches that the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act authorize. It is long past time to repeal the Patriot Act and reassert the constitutional rights of all Americans. I am proud to co-sponsor Congressman Pocan’s bill and look forward to working with him on this issue.”
The Patriot Act is a Bush era stain that should have been removed years ago. Most members of Congress are afraid touch it because they are terrified that they would be blamed if they repealed the Patriot Act, and the nation suffered another terrorist attack. The Patriot Act is a bad law that was passed during an era of post-9/11 fear and hysteria.
There is no doubt that the American people can have both safety and liberty. The Patriot Act goes too far, and removing the domestic programs that are targeting innocent citizens is the one sure way to restore privacy and freedom back to the American people.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association