The Multiracial Activist Newsletter
Special Alert 23 – November 15, 2005
The Multiracial Activist Newsletter is an informational digest of news, events, new websites and other information of interest to the biracial/multiracial individuals, interracial couples/families and the transracial adoptee community. Published irregularly, with special alerts as news items warrant. The Multiracial Activist Newsletter is registered with the Library of Congress, Washington, DC – ISSN: 1522-6905. Past newsletters and alerts are archived athttp://www.multiracial.com/newsletter.html.
The attached letter was sent by the Liberty Coalition in opposition to domestic surveillance provisions in S. 1803, the “2006 Intelligence Authorization Act.” The Multiracial Activist is a member of the Liberty Coalition and signed this letter along with several national civil liberties organizations including the ACLU and Republican Liberty Caucus.
An electronic version of this letter is available here: http://multiracial.com/content/view/1083/49/
The Multiracial Activist has long been opposed to such domestic surveillance efforts, which seek to compile massive amounts of personal information (including “racial” and ethnic data) in several databases accessible by many levels of government. The possibility for political abuse of such data is immense, not to mention the potential for further “racial” profiling. As an added bonus, such data could expose millions to potential identity theft or harassment by hackers or even government employees. The Multiracial Activist will continue to speak out on behalf of privacy rights and civil liberties for all. A list of prior advocacy efforts is available here: http://multiracial.com/content/category/10/64/49/
The Multiracial Activist asks that readers contact their Senators and urge them vote against any version of S. 1803 that includes domestic surveillance provisions. You can find contact information for your Senators here:
cell: 703-593-2065 * fax: 760-875-8547
AIM: jlnales * ICQ: 148600159
MSN and Yahoo! Messenger: jlandrith
Taking the Gloves Off – http://www.jameslandrith.com
The Multiracial Activist – http://www.multiracial.com
The Abolitionist Examiner – http://www.multiracial.com/abolitionist/
Letter to United States Senate
November 8, 2005
We the undersigned organizations urge you not to pass any version of the 2006 Intelligence Authorization Act (S 1803) that includes two provisions that would dramatically expand Pentagon spying operations against American citizens. No Senate committee has held hearings on either of these sections.
The first problematic provision is Section 307. Under this provision, the Privacy Act would be amended to allow both the CIA and Defense intelligence agencies to access sensitive personal information on Americans collected by the FBI and other government agencies. Section 307 would thereby permit defense intelligence and CIA to create computerized dossiers on millions of Americans.
There are serious privacy and civil liberties issues raised by allowing the CIA and Defense Department wholesale access to databases of sensitive information on Americans, issues far beyond the concerns raised by FBI access. While counter-terrorism information may need to be shared between the FBI and Defense and the CIA, this change to the Privacy Act, with its low “relevance” standard, removes one of the only legal barriers to DoD and CIA creating massive databases on Americans. The provision is particularly troubling in light of recent revelations about the widespread use of national security letters by the FBI to collect sensitive records on thousands or even millions of innocent Americans. Section 307 would permit the FBI to transfer all such records to Defense intelligence and CIA databases.
The second troublesome provision is Section 431. Section 431 allows Defense intelligence operatives to gather human intelligence inside the United States, going undercover to recruit potential spies without identifying themselves as Pentagon agents to the Americans they’re talking to..
DoD itself has reported that before the Privacy Act was passed thirty years ago, its intelligence agencies engaged in “monitoring of activities of innocent persons involved in the constitutionally protected expression of their views on civil rights or anti-war activities.”
The Senate should not open the door to a return to those dark days without so much as a single committee hearing or public debate. The Congress must pause and evaluate these extraordinary changes before adopting them. For that reason, we urge you to oppose any unanimous consent motion to consider an Intelligence Authorization bill containing these provisions. These provisions must be carefully debated and considered, preferably through public hearings and debate.
American Policy Center
The Rutherford Institute
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
Center for Democracy and Technology
Republican Liberty Caucus
American Civil Liberties Union
U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation
National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
Fairfax County Privacy Council
Cyber Privacy Project
Gun Owners of America