Washington, DC (May 26, 2011) – Congressman David Wu released the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill (S. 990) to extend executive surveillance authorities under the USA PATRIOT Act until June 1, 2015.
“Ten years after I first opposed the Patriot Act, the law remains an affront to our core American values of civil liberty and constitutional protection. With today’s vote, Congress has once again surrendered its oversight of sweeping executive authority to spy on American citizens.
“That’s four more years of roving wiretaps, where the government can follow you even if you change phones; four more years of federal agents ordering you to turn over ‘any tangible thing,’ including library records, if they believe the items are relevant to an investigation.
“What’s most striking is that the Department of Justice has found ‘no instance’ where the turnover of ‘tangible things’ resulted in a major investigative development.
“We must protect our liberty and our security with equal vigor. The Patriot Act is as ineffective as it is unconstitutional. It must be overhauled now.”