Neas decries bill as a ‘disaster to democracy’
Republican House and Senate negotiators who reached an agreement Thursday to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act have failed to balance national security and the protection of our civil liberties.
“Unchecked power is a disaster for democracy,” said People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas. “And secrecy is the enemy of accountability. This bill undermines our Constitution and our liberties.”
As a part of the deal agreed to by House and Senate Republican conferees:
- The Justice Department will retain the authority to investigate American citizens without judicial oversight, a power that is invoked more than 30,000 times each year.
- The government will still be able to search individuals’ private property without notifying them.
- Authorities will still be able to search citizens’ library records, medical records, school records, and financial records virtually unchecked by the judiciary
Neas said that People For the American Way members will urge members of the House and Senate to defeat the legislation.