February 17, 2018

Bush Renews Call to Extend Patriot Act; Specter Cautious

By LJ Staff

President Bush on April 17 devoted his weekly radio address to call on the House and the Senate to extend provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act due to expire at the end of 2005. However, librarians and other critics of sections of the act may have gained some crucial allies. “I think it’s important to re-enact the Patriot Act, but there has to be more balance between enforcement power and civil rights,” Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) told the New York Times. “There has to be refinement on access to library records,” he said, apparently referring to Section 215, which lowered the standards for the search of business records, including those at libraries. Several pending bills in Congress would restore pre-Patriot Act standards for such searches.