26 in Congress Join Sanders in Co-sponsoring the Freedom to Read Protection Act

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Twenty-six fellow members of Congress have joined Rep. Bernie Sanders in introducing federal legislation that would remove a threat to the privacy of bookstore and library records, created by the USA Patriot Act. Under the provisions of H.R. 1157, The Freedom to Read Protection Act, the FBI would be barred from seeking "personally identifiable information concerning a patron of a bookseller or library." The government may still attempt to subpoena this information if it can make sufficient legal showing.

The Patriot Act amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to give the FBI vastly expanded authority to search business records, including the records of bookstores and libraries. The FBI may request the records secretly, and it is not required to prove that there is "probable cause" to believe the person whose records are being sought has committed a crime. In addition, the bookseller or librarian who receives an order is prohibited from revealing it to anyone except those whose help is needed to produce the records. [For more on H.R. 1157, click here.]

The cosponsors of the Freedom to Read Protection Act are:

Congressman Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ)
Congressman Ed Pastor (D-AZ)
Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA)
Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA)
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Congressman Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA)
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Congresswoman Lynn C. Woolsey (D-CA)
Congressman Mark Udall (D-CO)
Congressman C.L. (Butch) Otter (R-ID)
Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)
Congressman William O. Lipinski (D-IL)
Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA)
Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA)
Congressman John W. Olver (D-MA)
Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI)
Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY)
Congressman Major Owens (D-NY)
Congressman Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Congressman Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR)
Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. (D- TN)
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)
Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA)
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)