Last month, two important pieces of legislation were proposed in the House.
• The Safe and Secure America Act, H.R. 1467, was introduced on March 12, 2009 by Sen. Lamar Smith (R-TX). The bill proposes a 10-year extension on “roving” wiretap powers and government access to library patron records. These provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act are scheduled to sunset this December. Rather than revise the constitutionally questionable sections, this bill would extend them (and the much contested FISA Amendments) until December 31, 2019. Stay up to date: Track H.R. 1467 here.
• The National Security Letters Reform Act of 2009, H.R. 1800, was introduced March 30, 2009, by Rep. Jerrold Nadler. The bill raises the standard needed for the FBI to obtain National Security Letters, and stipulates that NSLs must not be used to spy on U.S. residents based solely on First Amendment activities. See ACLU “Legislation Introduced To Curtail Patriot Act Abuse” (3/30/09), and stay up to date: Track H.R. 1800 here.