WHEREAS, the NAACP has a long and distinguished tradition of protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of its residents; and
WHEREAS, fundamental constitutional rights are essential to the preservation of a just democratic society; and
WHEREAS, provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act and related federal actions threaten fundamental rights and liberties by:
(a) authorizing the indefinite incarceration of non-citizens, based on mere suspicion, as well, as citizens designated by the President as "enemy combatants;"
(b) giving the law enforcement and intelligence agencies access to any individual's personal records, including medical, financial, library and education records;
(c) permitting the FBI to spy on religious services, internet chat rooms, political demonstrations and other public meetings of any kind without having any evidence that a crime has been or may be committed;
(d) expanding the authority of federal agents to conduct searches in which the subject of the search warrant is unaware that his property has been searched (so-called "sneak and peek" of "black bag" searches); and
(e) limiting the ability of federal courts to curb law enforcement abuse of electronic surveillance in anti-terrorism and ordinary criminal investigations.
WHEREAS, these new powers threaten the civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans and particularly affect those of Arab, Muslim, and South Asian backgrounds; and
WHEREAS, the Bush Administration has drafted a second Patriot Act, the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003", which threatens civil liberties.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP:
- Affirms its strong support for the fundamental constitutional rights and its opposition to the USA Patriots Act and related federal actions that infringe on important civil rights and civil liberties.
- Affirms its opposition to the proposed "Patriot Act II", the domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003.
- Affirms its strong support for the constitutional rights of immigrant communities and oppose racial profiling and the scapegoat of immigrants.
- Calls upon all private citizens and organizations, including residents, employers, educators, and business owners, to demonstrate similar respect for civil rights and civil liberties, especially but not limited to conditions of employment and cooperation with investigations.
- Urge each public library to conduct a "privacy audit" to determine what paper and electronic records are kept that provide personally identifiable information concerning a patron's use of the library facilities, including both Internet usage and usage of other materials in the library's collection. The audit shall also determine the purpose for which such records are kept and the time period for which are kept. Upon completion of the audit, the library shall adopt a records retention policy that minimizes the amount of time that any such personally identifiable information is retained by the library.
- Encourages Police/Sheriff's Department to:
- Refrain from cooperating in any U.S. Attorney Office or FBI requests to participate in the exercise of powers that violate either the state or federal constitution;
- Refrain from conducting surveillance on individuals or groups based on their participation in protected First Amendment activities such as political advocacy or religious practice, without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
- Refrain from collecting or maintaining information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of any individual, group, association, organization, corporation, business or partnership unless such information directly relates to an investigation of criminal activities, and there are reasonable grounds to suspect the subject of the information is or may be involved in criminal conduct;
- Refrain from establishing a general surveillance network of video cameras, and refrain from deploying facial recognition technology or other unreliable biometric identification technology; and
- Refrain from the practice of stopping drivers or pedestrians for the purpose of scrutinizing their identification documents without particularized suspicion of criminal activity.
- Encourages public schools and institutions of higher learning to provide notice to individuals whose education records have been obtained by law enforcement agents pursuant to Section 507 of the USA PATRIOT Act;
- Encourages all City Managers to determine how the new federal powers are being used locally by making the following information public"; and
- The Names of all detainees that have been held in their City/County as a result of terrorism investigations, where they have been held, circumstances of detention, any charges, whether the detainee has been transferred or deported, whether the detainee has legal representation, and the name of the attorney;
- The number of times records have been requested from libraries and book stores under powers granted in the USA Patriot Act;
- The number of searches conducted under the powers granted in the USA Patriot Act, in which the subject of the search warrant is unaware that his property has been searched (so-called "sneak and peek" or "black bag" searches);
- The number of individuals who have been questioned in connection with terrorism investigations, and the race, ethnicity, and immigration status of those individuals;
- The number of wiretaps utilized under the powers granted in the USA Patriot Act;
- The number of religious institutions, political rallies, and political meetings;
- The numbers of residents is being held in connection with civil immigration violations and the nationality of those being held;
- The number of requests made to their Police Department or other city agencies for assistance with the execution of powers that violate either the state or federal constitution;
- The number of search warrants executed without notice to the subject of the warrant pursuant to section 213 of the USA PATRIOT Act;
- The extent of electronic surveillance carried out in their City/County under powers granted in the USA PATIOT Act;
- The number of times education records have been obtained from public schools and institutions of higher learning in their jurisdiction under section 207 of the USA PATRIOT Act; and
- Encourages all of its branches to ask their respective local municipalities to pass this resolution and to send a letter and a copy of this resolution to their Senators and Congresspersons, urging them to work repeal all provisions of the USA Patriot Act that infringe on civil liberties and to oppose passage "Patriot Act II", the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003.