March 09, 2005

Crapo: Patriot Act Oversight Must Be In Place

Bipartisan SAFE Act clarifies Patriot Act provisions on wiretaps, libraries

Washington, DC â?? At a news conference on Capitol Hill this afternoon, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo joined a bipartisan group of Senators to endorse changes to the USA Patriot Act. S. 1709, the Security and Freedom Ensured (SAFE) Act, would amend and clarify several provisions of the Patriot Act, including delayed notice and multi-jurisdictional warrants, wiretaps, and library records and surveillance.â??We must always keep the U.S. Constitution in mind as the guideline as Congress works on issues, and homeland security is no exception,â?? Crapo said. â??The changes we are proposing through the SAFE Act clarify that terrorists, not law-abiding American citizens, are the targets when federal investigations are underway. I have heard from many Idahoans who are concerned about the overreaching effects that the Patriot Act could have, and it is important that Congress make the necessary changes to this law to provide adequate oversight and checks and balances with law enforcement.â??The SAFE Act is a narrowly-tailored bipartisan bill that would amend several controversial provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, P.L.107-56, that permit the FBI to conduct surveillance on Americans with inadequate judicial oversight. In particular, it focuses on notification on roving wiretaps and delayed notification, also called â??sneak and peek,â?? search warrants. The bill would not impede law enforcementâ??s ability to investigate terrorism, and would not amend pre-PATRIOT Act law in any way. The bill is supported by a broad coalition of advocacy groups from across the political spectrum.The bill was introduced just prior to the Senate recess in October by Idaho Senator Larry Craig and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. Similar legislation is expected to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives later this month.A satellite feed and radio actuality are available for interested media. The satellite feed time and coordinates are as follows:1:45-2:15 p.m. Mountain/12:45-1:15 p.m. PacificGalaxy 3 (C-Band)Transponder 7 HorizontalDownlink 3840Standard audio 6.2/6.8A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at