Policy and News Updates for June 03, 2004

Policy Updates

Oppose Extending Patriot Act
Sign On Letter (Due: Fri 6/4)
HR 3179, introduced by Sensenbrenner-Goss, would expand the Patriot Act. Status: Goss may attach it to the intelligence authorization bill moving in the House to mark it up in closed session.
Resource: Organizations can sign on by emailing Tsoghig at ACLU.

Fix the Patriot Act & Strengthen Liberties
Sign On Letter (Due: Mon 6/7)

The Civil Liberties Restoration Act of 2004 is scheduled to be introduced on Tuesday, June 8 by Senators Kennedy (D-MA), Leahy (D-VT), Feingold (D-WI), Durbin (D-IL) and Corzine (D-NJ) as well as Representatives Berman (D-CA) and Dellahunt (D-MA). The bill aims to restore civil liberties and due process rights trampled by the government since September 11.
Resource: Organizations can sign on by emailing the American Immigration Lawyers Association.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture is planning on disclosing information about controversial genetically modified crops, previously kept secret. The agency will now post risk analysis and environmental impacts of the crops, used to produce pharmaceuticals.
Resource: New York Times, June 2, 2004.

Associated Press President and CEO Tom Curley has announced a plan to strengthen his organization’s advocacy of open government.
Resource: SEJ WatchDog, June 2, 2004.

A new Maine open records law will set a time limit for state and local agencies to respond to freedom-of-information requests, and requires them to charge no more than “reasonable” copying fees.
Resource: SEJ WatchDog, June 2, 2004.

Classified documents related to the interrogations of terrorist suspect Jose Padilla were released June 1. This unprecedented release states Padilla admitted to carrying out attacks on U.S. buildings. Padilla’s lawyers called the documents an unchallenged, one-sided version of events and contend Padilla should have the opportunity in court to refute the government’s assertions. Resource: Washington Post, June 1, 2004.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans to expand the amount of information it can withhold from the public disclosure, according to a May 18 Federal Register notice.
Resource: OMB Watcher, June 1, 2004.

Ten Senators introduced a bill May 21 that would make permanent many of the provisions of the Patriot Act scheduled to sunset next year.
Resource: Secrecy News, May 26, 2004.

Past Updates…