Friday, March 5, 2004
Information available to inform voters on the USA PATRIOT Act
Anyone interested in learning more about the USA PATRIOT Act, short for the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism" Act of 2001, has, thanks to the Internet, a wealth of sources to choose from. The CCLC (Carlisle Civil Liberties Committee) has prepared a list of resources to help fellow citizens become more familiar with the Act prior to the May Town Meeting when voters will be asked to vote on a Warrant Article that:
1) Affirms Carlisle's commitment to protecting its citizens' civil liberties.
2) Urges our congressional representatives to monitor the implementation of the Act and to actively work toward repealing portions of the Act that violate civil liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
3) Requests that town officials and employees act, to the extent legally permissible, in a manner consistent with protecting our civil liberties.
4) Requests that the Town Administrator, to the extent legally permissible, report annually any information pertaining to the implementation of the Act in the town.
5) Requests that the resolution (if passed) be posted locally and distributed to state and federal officials.
A full printed copy of the Act is available at the Gleason Library reference desk. Anyone who would like to learn more about the Act or the resolution is invited to a CCLC wine and cheese gathering on Sunday, March 7, from 4 to 7 p.m. at John and Ann Ballantine's home, 268 Fiske Street, 1-978-371-2652. Anyone wanting to volunteer time or seeking more information about the CCLC should contact coordinators, Susan Stamps, firstname.lastname@example.org or Sally Coulter, 1-978-369-6637.
Resources on the Web
The State Department: Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports prepared by the Library of Congress research staff for Congress on the Act are available at http://fpc.state.gov//c4763.htm. Several reports such as RL31377 "The USA PATRIOT Act: A Legal Analysis" provide the lay reader with a very helpful professional legal analysis and explanation of the Act.
The Department of Justice (DOJ): DOJ has recently launched a new website defending the USA PATRIOT Act at http://www.lifeandliberty.gov.
The American Library Association: the Association has challenged sections of the Act pertaining to libraries. http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/ifissues/usapatriotact.htm
American Civil Liberties Union: the ACLU is challenging the Act and proposals to extend it. http://www.aclu.org
Other interesting sites
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) http://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/usapatriot/
Electronic Frontier Foundation http://www.eff.org.
Bill of Rights Defense Committee http://www.bordc.org.
© 2004 The