Katherine Martinez, Amber
Castor, Alta Valliant,
Shannon Keith
U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act
The Uniting and Strengthening America by
Providing Appropriate Tools Required to
Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001
History of the Patriot Act
Presented by Katherine Martinez
Historical Context
Passage of the Act
Dissenting Voices
• Continued Dispute
Historical Context
Alien & Sedition Act, 1798; Japanese internment camps, 1942;
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, 1996
• October 2, 2001 - Patriot Act
introduced into Congress
• October 26, 2001 - Patriot Act passed
into law
• Patriot Act passed 98-1
• Russell Feingold (D-Wisconsin) is the
lone senator to vote against it
• No one was allowed to read the bill
prior to its passage
• Viet Dinh
• Board of
News Corp.
• Michael
• Secretary of
Temporary Measures?
• Sunset provisions - Patriot Act would
end in 4 years
• February 15, 2006 - Russ Feingold
attempts to block renewal of the
Patriot Act. He is defeated 96-3.
• March 9, 2006 - President Bush signed
reauthorization of Patriot Act
Fight the Power that Be
Continued Tug-of-War
• May 20, 2003 - Viet Dinh testifies that
libraries have only been contacted by federal
authorities “approximately fifty times.”*
• June 14, 2005 - The House of
Representatives votes to block federal
searches of bookstore and library records.
• May 2, 2007 - The ALA fights to have
libraries exempted from the Patriot Act’s
provisions regarding NSLs (National Security
* “DOJ Says It Has Never Used Key PATRIOT Provision.” The Center for
Democracy & Technology website. 23 September 2003,
Positive Aspects of the Patriot Act
Presented by Amber Castor
• Why is it needed?
• Dispelling the
• Myth vs. Reality
• Congressional
• Moving Forward
Why is it Needed?
• Provides protection
and security
• Certain laws were
outdated and
needed revision
• Defined new
vocabulary for a
changed world
Dispelling the Myths
• Many aspects of the Patriot Act have existed
in previous laws and U.S. codes and have
only been slightly modified to reflect
changes in today’s society
• Section 201 and 206
• Sections 219 and 220
• Not all of the provisions set forth in the
Patriot Act have been the subject of
• Sections 319, 373, 805, and 806
• Sections 412 and 812
Myth vs. Reality
• Section 215—allows access to business
records and other items under the
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
• Myth: The government is monitoring the
library habits of ordinary citizens.
• Reality: The scope of this section is very
narrow. It must be explicitly authorized by a
FISA court. Also, ordinary grand juries have
had this power for years.
Initial Congressional Support
Continued Congressional Support
Moving Forward
• According to a 2004 USA Today article by
Toni Locy, the Patriot Act is blurred in the
public mind.
• The public needs to be better educated on all
aspects of the Patriot Act
• The Patriot Act must be continually
examined and revised in order to remain a
viable tool in the war on terror.
The Critical View
Presented by Alta Valliant
Civil Liberties
are at Risk!
Why you should just say NO to the
Patriot Act
• The “purpose” of the
Patriot Act
• Your Constitutional
Rights are at Risk
• Is this necessary?
• People Fighting the
• How to Protect
• What you can do in
YOUR library
Purpose of the Patriot Act
• To deter and punish
American terrorists in
the United States and
around the world, to
enhance law
investigatory tools,
and for other
• What does “other
purposes” even mean?
• Section 215
• Section 216
The Patriot Act Infringes on your
Constitutional Rights!
It violates the First Amendment
by prohibiting those served with
Section 215 orders from telling
others, even when there is no
real need for secrecy. Although,
since the revision they are
allowed to contact a lawyer.
It also violates the First
Amendment by in effect
authorizing the FBI to investigate
U.S. persons, including American
citizens, based in part on their
exercise of First Amendment
activity, and by authorizing the
FBI to investigate non-U.S.
persons based solely on their
exercise of First Amendment
It violates the Fourth and Fifth
Amendments because those who
are the subject of Section 215
orders do not need to be told that
their privacy has been
The Patriot Act is NOT needed
The government
already has the
authority to prosecute
anyone whom it has
probable cause to
believe has committed
or is planning to
commit a crime. It
also has the authority
to engage in
surveillance of anyone
whom it has probable
cause to believe is a
foreign power or spy whether or not the
person is suspected of
any crime. – ACLU
Anti Patriot Act Patriots
• State ALA Chapters
• Connecticut
• Russ Feingold
• Wisconsin Senator
Protect yourself and your patrons
• Know the law and
your rights
• Know your
resourses and how
to use them
• Have a lawyer you
can contact
What you can do in your Library!
• Set up a display about
the Patriot Act
• Post signs around
telling patrons they
could be monitored
• Delete Internet logs
once a week
• Hold informational
meetings, hand out
flyers, talk with
• Don’t let the man get
you down!
Resources Available
Presented by Shannon Keith
• Web Resources
• Positive
• Negative
• Neutral
• Print Resources
Web Resources
• U.S. Department of
• White House:
• American Library
• American Civil
Liberties Union:
Neutral Resources on the Web
• Government Printing Office:
• National Public Radio:
Resources in Print
• Refuge of a Scoundrel: The Patriot
Act in Libraries by Herbert Foerstel
• How Patriotic is the Patriot Act?:
Freedom versus security in the
age of Terrorism by Amitai Etzioni
• From the Palmer Raids to the
Patriot Act: a history of the fight
for free speech in America,
Christopher Finan
“The inability of FBI investigators to use this
seemingly effective tool has had a direct and
clearly adverse impact on our terrorism
cases. While radical militant librarians
kick us around, true terrorists benefit from
OIPR's failure to let us use the tools given to
~FBI Agent
American Civil Liberties Union. USA Patriot Act. New York.
American Library Association. USA Patriot Act and Intellectual Freedom.
Chicago, 2006.
Etzioni, Amitai. How Patriotic is the Patriot Act?: Freedom versus
security in the age of Terrorism. New York: Routledge, 2004.
Finan, Christopher. From the Palmer Raids to the Patriot Act: a history of
the fight for free speech in America. Boston: Beacon Press, 2007.
Foerstel, Herbert N. Refuge of a Scoundrel: The Patriot Act in Libraries.
Westport: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.
National Public Radio. Washington,
United States Department of Justice. Preserving Life and Liberty.
The White House. USA Patriot Act. Washington.
Amitai Etzione.