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Perspective: Must we renew the Patriot Act?
By Declan McCullagh
December 12, 2005, 4:00 AM PST
What do mandatory drug testing, cigarette taxes and methamphetamine
restrictions have to do with protecting America from terrorists?
As far as I can tell, the answer is "nothing." But they nevertheless
appear in a 219-page proposed law to renew the Patriot Act that
Republicans have scheduled for a vote this week.
A fraction--a mere 16 sections--of the Patriot Act's awesome
surveillance powers expire Dec. 31. They expanded secret methods the FBI
can use to obtain business records; authorized more information sharing
between Internet providers and police; and listed computer hacking as an
offense permitting increased eavesdropping.
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