Last night Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) voted against H.R. 514, which would extend three controversial provisions of the PATRIOT Act. The bill failed on a vote of 277-148. It required a two-thirds majority to pass.
"The PATRIOT Act granted the government dangerously broad powers in the name of security and at the expense of civil liberties," Rep. Eshoo said. "We have now had nearly a decade to review the law and determine which provisions are necessary and which ones overreach. But this bill would extend the law, rubberstamping rather than reworking the most egregious provisions."
H.R. 514 would extend the following provisions:
* "Roving Wiretaps" -- letting intelligence agencies undertake surveillance without identifying where or to whom the surveillance will occur.
* "Lone Wolf" authority -- permitting broad, secret surveillance of any "non-U.S. person," even if they are not affiliated with a foreign nation or foreign organization.
* "Library Provision" -- allowing the FBI to obtain library circulation records, patron lists, bookstore records, and customer lists without a warrant or grand jury subpoena. In 2005, Rep. Eshoo introduced an amendment to overturn this provision.
"The Library Provision permits the government to obtain anything tangible as long as it's sought under the guise of a terrorism investigation," Rep. Eshoo said. "It is repugnant to the principles of our nation that this intrusive policy remains on our books."