Kyl Amendment to Strengthen Patriot Act

The largest expansion of federal powers since the USA PATRIOT Act died in the Senate Oct. 5, 2004. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)’s amendment to the Senate intelligence reform bill, S. 2845, was ruled nongermane.

The amendment used some provisions from the Patriot Act II — failed legislation that was never introduced to Congress after a leaked draft in 2003 resulted in strong public backlash. Among other things, the Kyl amendment would have:

  • Expanded secret eavesdropping and search powers;
  • Infringed on the right to privacy for library, medical and other personal records;
  • Enabled the government to present secret requests for the deletion of classified information from information given to the defense in certain court cases;
  • Allowed for the secret use of information gathered through intelligence intercepts and searches in immigration cases; and
  • Made any crimes resulting in fatalities a death-eligible offense if it meets the USA PATRIOT Act’s overbroad definition of terrorism.

Many felt the amendment would have gone outside the scope of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations.

Source: text of the amendment

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