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Posted: 5/24/2005 11:33:51 AM EST
Story

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The FBI on Tuesday asked the U.S. Congress for sweeping new powers to seize business or private records, ranging from medical information to book purchases, to investigate terrorism without first securing approval from a judge.

Valerie Caproni, FBI general counsel, told the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee her agency needed the power to issue what are known as administrative subpoenas to get information quickly about terrorist plots and the activities of foreign agents.

Civil liberties groups have complained the subpoenas, which would cover medical, tax, gun-purchase, book purchase, travel and other records and could be kept secret, would give the FBI too much power and could infringe on privacy and free speech.

"This type of subpoena authority would allow investigators to obtain relevant information quickly in terrorism investigations, where time is often of the essence," Caproni testified.

The issue of administrative subpoenas dominated the hearing, which was called to discuss reauthorization of clauses of the USA Patriot Act due to expire at the end of this year.

The act was passed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. However administrative subpoena power was not in the original law. The proposed new powers, long sought by the FBI, have been added by Republican lawmakers, acting on the wishes of the Bush administration, to the new draft of the USA Patriot Act.

Committee chairman, Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts (news, bio, voting record), noted that other government agencies already had subpoena power to investigate matters such as child pornography, drug investigations and medical malpractice. He said it made little sense to deny those same powers to the FBI to investigate terrorism or keep track of foreign intelligence agents.

But opponents said other investigations usually culminated in a public trial, whereas terrorism probes would likely remain secret and suspects could be arrested or deported or handed over to other countries without any public action.

CLOSED HEARING

Roberts intends to hold a closed meeting on Thursday, above the objections of some Democrats, to move the legislation forward out of his committee. But the provision still faces a long road before it becomes law, since the Senate Judiciary Committee also has jurisdiction over the bill, while the House of Representatives is drawing up its own legislation.

Democrats on the committee expressed concerns and pressed Caproni to give examples of cases where the lack of such powers had hampered an investigation.

"I am not aware of any time in which Congress has given directly to the FBI subpoena authority. That doesn't make it right or wrong. It just needs to be thought about," said West Virginia Democrat Jay Rockefeller.

Caproni said she could not cite a case where a bomb had exploded because the FBI lacked this power, but that did not mean one could not explode tomorrow.

She gave a theoretical example of a case where the FBI suspected that a terrorist was about to do something but did not exactly where he was. In such a case, it might subpoena hotel or EZ-pass records, which would show where and when he had driven through toll booths in the eastern United States.

Under the proposed legislation, those served with subpoenas would have the right to challenge them in court. But civil liberties groups said few were likely to do so, and the person being investigated would be unlikely even to know that the FBI was seeking his personal records.

For example, if the FBI demanded a person's medical records from his doctor, the doctor could challenge the order if he wished, but the individual could not.

"Ordinary citizens are storing information not in their homes or even on portable devices but on networks, under the control of service providers who can be served with compulsory process and never have to tell the subscribers that their privacy has been invaded," said James Dempsey of the Center for Democracy, one of several groups opposing the provision.



Link Posted: 5/24/2005 11:34:17 AM EST
At least they're asking....
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 11:38:40 AM EST
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Link Posted: 5/24/2005 11:40:24 AM EST

Originally Posted By pcsutton:
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.



+1. Congress would need to amend the Constitution in order to do what the FBI is asking. This is some scary shit.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 11:40:55 AM EST
No way. Not without warrants.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 11:43:08 AM EST
"These will only be used in extrodinary circumstances!"
TERRORISTS TERRORISTS TERRORISTS!!! LOOK.... OVER THERE!!!!!

THUMP THUMP THump thump thump thump.

I'm sure someone will be along shortly to explain how this is really nessisary, that they will eventually get warrents and this is nothing to be concerned about at all.

Link Posted: 5/24/2005 11:45:04 AM EST
I guess it comes down to how some member of the Judiciary defines 'unreasonable', huh? No wonder the 'rights grabbers' want to load the Federal Courts with Liberal Judges.

Link Posted: 5/24/2005 11:46:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:

Originally Posted By pcsutton:
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.



+1. Congress would need to amend the Constitution in order to do what the FBI is asking. This is some scary shit.




Kinda like that whole "shall not be infringed" bit in the 2nd ammendment.
Not holding my breath that congress with do the right thing and tell the FBI where to shove it.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 11:51:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By pcsutton:
I guess it comes down to how some member of the Judiciary defines 'unreasonable', huh? No wonder the 'rights grabbers' want to load the Federal Courts with Liberal Judges.




"Unreasonable" has been narrowing since the court started ruling. It gets pretty hard to find an unreasonable search these days that the USSC won't open the door to.

Along with "Compelling state interest" and "Related to Interstate Commerce" it is being used to change the face of our government. Pretty drastically.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 11:54:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By pcsutton:
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.




We at the FBI would like to remind the American people of our probable cause: Somewhere there is a bad person planning bad things.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 11:55:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/24/2005 11:59:33 AM EST by Cincinnatus]

Originally Posted By pcsutton:
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.





Thank goodness that Amendment doesn't pertain to foreign agents of hostile powers, or foreign terrorists.

By the way, if you read the article, it's clear that this only pertains to FOREIGNERS.


Valerie Caproni, FBI general counsel, told the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee her agency needed the power to issue what are known as administrative subpoenas to get information quickly about terrorist plots and the activities of foreign agents.


They're asking for an adjustment to FISA.
FISA does NOT pertain to US Citizens.

Congress CANNOT grant such powers to the FBI to search citizens. Those of you who said this, are right.
But it can adjust FISA.

The ACLU want foreign agents of terrorist organizations to have the same rights as US Citizens.
And some of you applaud this silliness?
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 12:00:25 PM EST

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:

Originally Posted By pcsutton:
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.





Thank goodness that Amendment doesn't pertain to foreign agents of hostile powers, or foreign terrorists.

By the way, if you read the article, it's clear that this only pertains to FOREIGNERS.
They're asking for an adjustment to FISA.
FISA does NOT pertain to US Citizens.



Do we have lists of these people at hand (if so why investigate) or can we assume that the investigation would be to determine if they are indeed in those catagories? Or will nobody of legal status ever be investigated?
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 12:04:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:

Originally Posted By pcsutton:
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.



+1. Congress would need to amend the Constitution in order to do what the FBI is asking. This is some scary shit.



No, they would not.

But what if they did it, it would be illegal, but when has that stopped the idiots in D.C?
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 12:05:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By Grunteled:

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:

Originally Posted By pcsutton:
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.





Thank goodness that Amendment doesn't pertain to foreign agents of hostile powers, or foreign terrorists.

By the way, if you read the article, it's clear that this only pertains to FOREIGNERS.
They're asking for an adjustment to FISA.
FISA does NOT pertain to US Citizens.



Do we have lists of these people at hand (if so why investigate) or can we assume that the investigation would be to determine if they are indeed in those catagories?

It's not random.

Or will nobody of legal status ever be investigated?

The Foreign Intelligence Surveilence Act is crystal clear on that:

Even if you are a citizen aiding the terrorists, the powers granted the FBI by FISA cannot be used to investigate or prosecute US Citizens.

The ACLU would prefer that you not know this.
THEY want you to think that FISA can be used against the citizenry.
It can't. Not legally.

Link Posted: 5/24/2005 12:05:41 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 12:08:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Do I hear George Orwell spinning up to supersonic RPMS in his grave, or what?

CJ



I think he's got enough spin to put a slight eccentricity in the earth's orbit.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 12:09:09 PM EST
Remember, the Constitution is a living breathing document.
They would only use this power for good.
The Gov't is your friend.
The ATF is trying to protect you from yourself
The IRS is here to help you.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 12:10:59 PM EST
This is not necessary. The FBI does not have any issues getting warrants from a judge.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 12:13:00 PM EST
FBI =
Fucking

Bunch
of

Idiots
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 12:42:58 PM EST
Gents, avoid the knee jerk reactions.

It's about FISA.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 12:50:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By pcsutton:
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.





Well, that's not an individual right. As you know the Bill of Rights was not written to apply to individuals but to the "people" as a whole. So, individual rights don't count. Didn't you learn anything from the Klinton presidency?
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 12:53:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:

Originally Posted By Grunteled:

Do we have lists of these people at hand (if so why investigate) or can we assume that the investigation would be to determine if they are indeed in those catagories?

It's not random.

Or will nobody of legal status ever be investigated?

The Foreign Intelligence Surveilence Act is crystal clear on that:

Even if you are a citizen aiding the terrorists, the powers granted the FBI by FISA cannot be used to investigate or prosecute US Citizens.

The ACLU would prefer that you not know this.
THEY want you to think that FISA can be used against the citizenry.
It can't. Not legally.




Interesting. I don't care much more for aspects of FISA, but you are right. The story makes it sound much much broader.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 1:50:41 PM EST
Funny how they do that, huh?

Reminds one of stories where a "gunman" "sprays the street" with a "burst of semi-automatic gunfire".

In those stories, WE the gun enthusiasts quickly debunk them.
The anti's read those stroies and say, "see...ah Ha!".

We should view these stories about infringed freedoms with the same experts' enthusiasm that we do erroneous gun related stories.
Otherwise, we will find ourselves to be nothing more than a manipulated herd.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 4:31:14 PM EST
They already do this through grand juries. It looks like they want a quicker process before the ROPers can skip town or fly a plane into a building
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 4:41:31 PM EST
Wait a second. Don't most people get pissed when some hippie liberal is upset about the PATRIOT Act because anything should be legal as long is it's to fight the scray terrorists? Isn't this the same kind of deal?
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