Dear Riveted Readers,
When last I updated you, the outcome of HR 514 was unclear. The House of Reps had yet to vote on it again. They did hold another vote on 2/10/11. ALA stated that the House of Representatives, which defeated H.R. 514, had another vote Thursday, February 10th. This bill sought to extend three sections of the USA PATRIOT Act, including Section 215, the business records section, often referred to as the “library provision.” So, results of the Feb 10th vote? According to Thomas.gov, accessed 2/14/11 at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:h.r.00514:
Latest Action: 2/10/2011 Rule H. Res. 79 passed House.
Now, as you may recall from my last communication, ALA feels that Senator Leahy’s bill S. 290 = good for libraries, while H.R. 514 = bad. So, this isn’t a terrific development for library world. How long would this be in effect? Because you are dying to know?
To extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 relating to access to business records, individual terrorists as agents of foreign powers, and roving wiretaps until December 8, 2011.
SO, it’s not forever. But not the outcome we would have liked. And there is still Senator Leahy’s legislation to come. Plenty of reason to remain hopeful.
Yours in Intellectual Freedom,
IF Committee Chair