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Posted: 6/18/2003 10:25:59 AM EDT
Okay, I've heard (read) several members of this board go completely apoplectic when describing the provisions of the PATRIOT Act. It's been almost two years since the Act was implemented, and I have yet to see problem number one with it. However, seeing as I am generally a law-abiding citizen, I didn't expect to see any. However, I'm not polyanish enough to believe that the government didn't sneak something weird into the bill, so I will ask a simple question: WHAT EXACTLY IS WRONG WITH THE PATRIOT ACT? Please keep your answers factual and logical. Provide links that support your positions, but don't post a link and say "read this", because some of us don't have time for that, and want to hear what YOU think. Here's your chance for some of you traditionally tin-foil-hat types to win a few converts. An open mind listens....
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:16:23 AM EDT
Don't everyone jump in at once...... [rolleyes]
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:22:28 AM EDT
Who bother? It is quite obvious from your post that you support the erosion of the rights of the people. Have fun in the gulag.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:23:11 AM EDT
Well some people were pissed because suposedly the alphabet soup agencies could go in and look up all the crap you did at a library, which is BS they can but only if your under investigation. they have to have court aproval to do it. Ashcroft just explained this a few days ago(week maybe)to some congressional commitee,infact it was a Wisconsin congress critter that asked about it,thats the only reason i watched it. I havent read the thing yet so i don't know but I guess it gave the alphabet soup people a lot of powers that they used to only have in their wettest dream.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:29:29 AM EDT
Read this: [url]http://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/hr3162.html[/url]
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:31:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Silence: Who bother? It is quite obvious from your post that you support the erosion of the rights of the people. Have fun in the gulag.
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Oh, yeah. THAT'S convincing! [rolleyes]
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:31:21 AM EDT
The act also loosens the rules for roving wiretaps, conferring broad authority to listen in on a suspect's communications. Under previous laws, officials had to specify certain phone lines they wanted to monitor, along with proof that their suspect used them. Federal authorities said that the old rules were outdated, since many people have phone lines at home, a mobile phone, and Internet access at home, at work, and even at Starbucks. The act lets agents wiretap any phone line--again, without showing probable cause--and monitor everything on that line whether the suspect is using it or not.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:38:50 AM EDT
"Domestic terrorism" -- a new crime. This newly- defined category of crime could be interpreted to include some political protests and acts of civil disobedience. It is not needed to counter terrorism but could be used by the government to severely prosecute relatively minor offenses and thus stifle dissent. "Sneak and peek searches." The legislation allows law enforcement authorities to enter a home, office, or other private place and conduct a search, take photographs, and download computer files without notifying the person whose property is being searched until sometime after the search was conducted. This authority is not limited to anti-terrorism investigations but also extends to criminal ones.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:47:00 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:49:12 AM EDT
As this was done under a republican administration, it is common sense and reasonable, but if the same thing were done under democrat administration, it would unconstitutional and tyrannical. I wish you people would get this through your thick skulls. [img]defendliberty.com/pics/1984.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:59:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SWIRE: The act also loosens the rules for roving wiretaps, conferring broad authority to listen in on a suspect's communications. Under previous laws, officials had to specify certain phone lines they wanted to monitor, along with proof that their suspect used them. Federal authorities said that the old rules were outdated, since many people have phone lines at home, a mobile phone, and Internet access at home, at work, and even at Starbucks. The act lets agents wiretap any phone line--again, without showing probable cause--and monitor everything on that line whether the suspect is using it or not.
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that the roving wiretap was supposed to address an individual, rather than a single number. As such, if a suspect is using a phone (his or not), then the wiretap is authorized on that line only so long as the suspect is on it. Am I wrong?
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:00:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Imbroglio: As this was done under a republican administration, it is common sense and reasonable, but if the same thing were done under democrat administration, it would unconstitutional and tyrannical. I wish you people would get this through your thick skulls. [url]defendliberty.com/pics/1984.jpg[/url]
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Imbroglio once again blows a golden opportunity to win a convert by making yet another useless and inane post....
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:05:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SWIRE: "Domestic terrorism" -- a new crime. This newly- defined category of crime could be interpreted to include some political protests and acts of civil disobedience. It is not needed to counter terrorism but could be used by the government to severely prosecute relatively minor offenses and thus stifle dissent.
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I'd like to learn more about this one...
"Sneak and peek searches." The legislation allows law enforcement authorities to enter a home, office, or other private place and conduct a search, take photographs, and download computer files without notifying the person whose property is being searched until sometime after the search was conducted. This authority is not limited to anti-terrorism investigations but also extends to criminal ones.
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Can such searches be conducted only with a warrant? If so, how is this any different that pre-existing laws? BTW, thank you, Swire, for giving direct, informative answers. I find it interesting that the ones who shriek the loudest about the law are the ones who post the least information supporting their positions...
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:19:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2003 12:20:35 PM EDT by The_Macallan]
Originally Posted By Imbroglio: As this was done under a republican administration,
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And that's why people oppose it. It infringes not a whit on my rights at all (right now at least). But saying you oppose the Patriot Act simply because it [u]supposedly, possibly, could, maybe, in the future[/u] be a slippery-slope for badguys in Gov't to use against innocent citizens is the same stupid logic as banning guns because they [u]supposedly, possibly, could, maybe, in the future[/u] be used by terrorists to shoot school children. Of course if they start "re-defining" who are potential criminal/terrorist suspects that fall under the PA to include anyone who buys ammo or surfs AR15.com - then THAT is what ought to be opposed. But the Patriot Act is only a "slippery slope" to a police state if it's ALLOWED to be used that way. Right now - it's not. "Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom." "Trust, but verify."
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:20:33 PM EDT
I never heard about the library thing. That's rediculous.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:25:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Originally Posted By Imbroglio: As this was done under a republican administration,
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And that's why people oppose it. It infringes not a whit on my rights at all (right now at least). But saying you oppose the Patriot Act simply because it [u]supposedly, possibly, could, maybe, in the future[/u] be a slippery-slope for badguys in Gov't to use against innocent citizens is the same stupid logic as banning guns because they [u]supposedly, possibly, could, maybe, in the future[/u] be used by terrorists to shoot school children. Of course if they start "re-defining" who are potential criminal/terrorist suspects that fall under the PA to include anyone who buys ammo or surfs AR15.com - then THAT is what ought to be opposed. But the Patriot Act is only a "slippery slope" to a police state if it's ALLOWED to be used that way. Right now - it's not. "Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom." "Trust, but verify."
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This is precisely how I feel. However, since so many people on both sides of the political aisle seem to be opposed to it, I thought I'd start this thread to hear the other side and perhaps change my view. So far, only Swire has provided any food for thought. The others (Silence, Imbroglio), who are the usual suspects shouting that the PA is the step right before we all end up in concentration camps, are oddly silent. I'm waiting for Liberty86 to show up. He at least tries to make his cases logically...
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:32:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Zaphod: So far, only Swire has provided any food for thought. The others (Silence, Imbroglio), who are the usual suspects shouting that the PA is the step right before we all end up in concentration camps, are oddly silent. I'm waiting for Liberty86 to show up. He at least tries to make his cases logically...
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I posted many articles about the Patriot Act when it was first passed. No one cared then and I see no reason why the same people would care now. All I can say is that you people using Tannerite had better be careful because it can and will be classified as a "weapon of mass destruction" if some fed wants you in prison.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:36:47 PM EDT
Do a search on misuses of the RICO statutes. Originally intended only to persue Mafia/organized crime figures. See who is getting prosecuted for what under RICO now. [url]http://www.cse.org/informed/issues_template.php/92.htm[/url]
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:39:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Originally Posted By Silence: Who bother? It is quite obvious from your post that you support the erosion of the rights of the people. Have fun in the gulag.
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Oh, yeah. THAT'S convincing! [rolleyes]
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I was not trying to convince you. If you are unwilling (by your die hard faithfulness to whatever, or laziness) or unable (lack of intelligence) to look at the thing in question and draw your own conclusions as to how a government either now or in the futre can and will misuse it, then you are beyond all hope. As I said have fun in the gulag.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:42:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Imbroglio: I posted many articles about the Patriot Act when it was first passed. No one cared then and I see no reason why the same people would care now.
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Maybe some of us weren't around back then, or were worried about other things. You should be happy we're bothering to ask now, and consider it an opportunity to air the "truth" you bitch about so incessantly. But I guess drive-by postings of zero value are more your style... You're a lousy spokesman for your positions, you know.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:44:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Silence: I was not trying to convince you. If you are unwilling (by your die hard faithfulness to whatever, or laziness) or unable (lack of intelligence) to look at the thing in question and draw your own conclusions as to how a government either now or in the futre can and will misuse it, then you are beyond all hope. As I said have fun in the gulag.
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Another brilliant post.... Yep! You guys are sure doing your best to win over converts! If this is the way you treat people who are curious about your positions, it's no wonder no one takes you seriously....
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:48:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2003 12:49:41 PM EDT by The_Macallan]
Originally Posted By captainpooby: Do a search on misuses of the RICO statutes. Originally intended only to persue Mafia/organized crime figures. See who is getting prosecuted for what under RICO now. [url]http://www.cse.org/informed/issues_template.php/92.htm[/url]
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Yes! Now THAT I understand and agree! But you also make my point too. The RICO statutes THEMSELVES weren't the problem - it's the [b]misuse (abuse) and misapplication[/b] of the RICO laws that are now the problem. The precedents for such extensions and "redefinitions" of RICO provisions should have been squashed back in the 90's when they started being used. But they weren't. It's not the RICO laws nor the PA that's the problem - it's in [b]HOW[/b] they're being applied (or misapplied). But the analogy to RICO is a good one. Two points for you [b]captainbooby[/b]. [^] And minus two points to [b]Imborglio[/b] for being a snot about it. [stick]
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:52:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Silence: Edited By The_Macallan: I was not trying to convince you. If you are unwilling (by your die hard faithfulness to whatever, or laziness) or unable (lack of intelligence) to look at GUN VIOLENCE and draw your own conclusions as to how SOME PEOPLE either now or in the futre can and will misuse GUNS, then you are beyond all hope.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:55:37 PM EDT
Mac you make my point too. Its misuse by future admins/DOJ is what is worrying. Not to mention the fact that privacy happens to be a constitutional right. Oh ya, and due process, and right to bail, etc...
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:57:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Zaphod: Another brilliant post....
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Thanks I try
Yep! You guys are sure doing your best to win over converts!
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Who said anything about converting you. Those that 'need' to be converted are not worth the effort it takes to covert them.
If this is the way you treat people who are curious about your positions, it's no wonder no one takes you seriously....
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I dont care how you take me, your opinion does not matter to me.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:59:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2003 1:03:06 PM EDT by Zaphod]
Originally Posted By captainpooby: Do a search on misuses of the RICO statutes. Originally intended only to persue Mafia/organized crime figures. See who is getting prosecuted for what under RICO now. [url]http://www.cse.org/informed/issues_template.php/92.htm[/url]
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Captain, What you suggest is definitely true: that laws can be applied improperly by an administration in order to forward their own political ends. Lord knows the Klinton administration re-wrote the book on that! However, just because (I'll use your example) the RICO laws were misused doesn't automatically make the RICO laws [b]bad[/b]. It makes the people who used them incorrectly scumbags and best and criminals at worst. How can a society prevent a government from misusing a good law? I figure the best way to do that is to elect people of character. After that, "other means" are required if freedom is to be defended. Fortunately, we are still able to elect scumbags out of office, even if it's damn-near impossible in some parts of the country where the scumbag is popular (can you say "Kennedy in Massechussetts"?) So, I make no argument against the notion that sections of the PA can be used against otherwise law-abiding citizens in the future, but as Macallan said, to get rid of an otherwise good law because a future administration MIGHT misuse it prevent us from getting the benefits derived from [b]proper[/b] application of the law. As in all systems, if a human being [b]purposefully[/b] circumvents the rules, very little can be done other than removing that person and disciplining them accordingly. Systems can be designed to minimize such abuse from happening, but oftentimes such restrictions cannot be implemented without shutting the system down completely, and thus negating the benefits. So, if POTENTIAL misuse of a law is insufficient reason to scrap the PA, what provision within the PA exists that should be scrapped because the provision ITSELF is wrong? Edited to add: Looks like Mac posted while I was writing and working at the same time. Great minds think alike, eh, Mac? [;)]
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 1:00:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: Originally Posted By Silence: Edited By The_Macallan: I was not trying to convince you. If you are unwilling (by your die hard faithfulness to whatever, or laziness) or unable (lack of intelligence) to look at GUN VIOLENCE and draw your own conclusions as to how SOME PEOPLE either now or in the futre can and will misuse GUNS, then you are beyond all hope.
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My what a piss poor job of editing my post. I guess people questioning the Reich Fuhrer 'W' is out of the question for you. Do you like your brown shirt? You do know what happens to the Brown shirts dont you?
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 1:00:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2003 1:04:56 PM EDT by Zaphod]
Originally Posted By Silence: Who said anything about converting you. Those that 'need' to be converted are not worth the effort it takes to covert them.
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...and then they wonder why their party never wins elections... [rolleyes]
I dont care how you take me, your opinion does not matter to me.
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Yet you keep posting responses. Yep. Real consistent! Edited to fix quotes and to add: W as the Fuhrer? Geez, you really are a whacko....
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 1:17:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Silence:
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: Originally Posted By Silence: Edited By The_Macallan: I was not trying to convince you. If you are unwilling (by your die hard faithfulness to whatever, or laziness) or unable (lack of intelligence) to look at GUN VIOLENCE and draw your own conclusions as to how SOME PEOPLE either now or in the futre can and will misuse GUNS, then you are beyond all hope.
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My what a piss poor job of editing my post. I guess people questioning the Reich Fuhrer 'W' is out of the question for you. Do you like your brown shirt? You do know what happens to the Brown shirts dont you?
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[LOLabove] Lighten up Francis. [;)] Just hackin' on ya'![:D]
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 1:30:01 PM EDT
I think that "potential misuse of the law" is a good start a defining the "slippery slope".
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 1:35:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By captainpooby: I think that "potential misuse of the law" is a good start a defining the "slippery slope".
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I would respectfully disagree. Without minimizing the damaging impact the potential misuse of law has, I would suggest that a law is a "slippery slope" only if the law AS WRITTEN directly impinges or removes a right. For example, I consider the AWB a case of slippery-slope, because it BANS something that I have a right to possess. However, if a perfectly good wiretapping law is ABUSED, then that law is NOT, IMO, a case of slippery-slope. In such a situation, the slippery-slope exists if the people choose not to do something about the dirtbag(s) who ABUSED the law.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 1:40:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Originally Posted By Imbroglio: As this was done under a republican administration,
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And that's why people oppose it. It infringes not a whit on my rights at all (right now at least). [red]But saying you oppose the Patriot Act simply because it [u]supposedly, possibly, could, maybe, in the future[/u] be a slippery-slope for badguys in Gov't to use against innocent citizens[/red] is the same stupid logic as banning guns because they [u]supposedly, possibly, could, maybe, in the future[/u] be used by terrorists to shoot school children. Of course if they start "re-defining" who are potential criminal/terrorist suspects that fall under the PA to include anyone who buys ammo or surfs AR15.com - then THAT is what ought to be opposed. But the Patriot Act is only a "slippery slope" to a police state if it's ALLOWED to be used that way. Right now - it's not. "Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom." "Trust, but verify."
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Bulshit Mac, look at how RICO was used against abortion protestors, when we were told it was for "Organized Crime", (read mafia). We used ta not have "no knock" warrants, now they're normal, thanks to the "war on drugs". I could go on, but you get the drift. NEVER COMPROMISE FREEDOM!!
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 1:41:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: It infringes not a whit on my rights at all (right now at least). But saying you oppose the Patriot Act simply because it [u]supposedly, possibly, could, maybe, in the future[/u] be a slippery-slope for badguys in Gov't to use against innocent citizens is the same stupid logic as banning guns because they [u]supposedly, possibly, could, maybe, in the future[/u] be used by terrorists to shoot school children.
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Wow Mac. Not often that THIS happens! Non-Sequiter!!! (or some other falacy...) Owning guns is our right. Gov't snooping is NOT a right. Allowing it, and in writing, is indeed a slippery slope, whether they choose to use it or not. Scott
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 1:48:53 PM EDT
For example, I consider the AWB a case of slippery-slope, because it BANS something that I have a right to possess. However, if a perfectly good wiretapping law is ABUSED, then that law is NOT, IMO, a case of slippery-slope.
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You already have a right to privacy, due process, bail, speedy trial, unreasonable search and some others I probably omit that are "infringed" by this law. Everyone has these rights, not just the guys who are not suspected of terrorism like you and me and Imbrolio. Just because they havent used it against you yet dont mean it aint so. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, aaaannnndddddd hangs around with other ducks....
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 2:05:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Zaphod: Maybe some of us weren't around back then, or were worried about other things. You should be happy we're bothering to ask now, and consider it an opportunity to air the "truth" you bitch about so incessantly. But I guess drive-by postings of zero value are more your style... You're a lousy spokesman for your positions, you know.
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No, it is the sheeple who incessantly rationalizes away everything that their political party does who see my postings as "zero value". Bother to read the article about how bush is pushing the "progressive" agenda and acheived more in 2 years than klinton did in 8? The evidence is sitting right there to read and confirm, but no, in comes mr. ad hominem (not you) with his one liners and the rest of the apologist crew. It is like trying to convince sheeple that the sky is blue, after their leaders tell them that the sky is green. Let's see how the apologists spin this one: [url=news.bookweb.org/freeexpression/1281.html]Congressman Ron Paul Urges Booksellers to Rally in Support of H.R. 1157[/url] March 27, 2003 In early March, Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Freedom to Read Protection Act (H.R. 1157), federal legislation that would remove a threat to the privacy of bookstore and library records posed by Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. Though the bill has 58 co-sponsors thus far, Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), one of the sponsors of the bill, urged booksellers to rally behind H.R. 1157 so that more members of the House would support the bill. "It's going to be difficult to pass [H.R. 1157] because of the atmosphere and the fact that we're at war," Paul told BTW in a recent interview. "If you get enough people, say if you got a thousand people per district -- your congressman will listen." [b]The USA 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. [red]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.[/red] Paul explained that, when the Patriot Act was passed in the wake of 9/11, he voted against it and believes it challenges the Fourth Amendment. As such, he was glad to add his name to Sanders' bill. "There are so many bad parts to the Patriot Act, I would repeal the whole thing," he said. "The Freedom to Read Protection Act will be difficult to pass, but that's why it's important for people such as yourselves to rally your readership. Now, they're gearing up to make it worse, with the Patriot Act II. The only way to help is to alert the people to what's going on." Along with the need for a grass roots movement against the Patriot Act, Paul noted that it's important that the Freedom to Read Protection Act be a bipartisan initiative. At press time, only five of the 58 co-sponsors are Republicans, including Paul. Unfortunately, this is the current nature of politics, he said. "If Clinton were President now, it would be the Republicans yelling and screaming [about the Patriot Act], because everything here is partisan," he said, and added that he felt that many Republican Representatives want to sign H.R. 1157, but won't because they are intimidated. "They don't want to be seen as going against the [Republican] President." All the more reason for citizens opposed to the Patriot Act, such as booksellers and librarians, to inform their customers and urge them to contact their congressperson. Paul said that it's crucial that people do not "fluff [the USA Patriot Act] off believing it necessary. I think we live in very dangerous times."
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 2:11:51 PM EDT
Ron Paul interview excerpt from the Texas Observer article of December 2002. TO: What's wrong with the PATRIOT Act and the Homeland Security bill? RP: [They] have the basic problem of really undermining privacy, which I think is the essence of our liberty. If you don't have privacy, you don't have much freedom left. The part that [also] really bothers me was the process. We did not even have real access to the bill[s] before the vote. I have a general rule, since I'm not a socalled loyalist. As a member of the party, I feel like there is some allegiance that I have to give. So I give it on the procedural votes, the parliamentary votes. Two times I went against the Republican Party on procedural votes: They were the PATRIOT Act and Homeland Security. I would not support the rule because I thought the method was so atrocious. The bills were not available. Things were switched around. They kept the House open until 5:00 a.m. in order to avoid a two-thirds vote. I don't think we ever really had the final version of the PATRIOT Act before the bill was debated. And the other one became available two hours before. Then the difficulty in reading it was overwhelming. We had passed it once in the House. It was 52 pages. When it came back it was 484 pages. It was very hard to read, written in a lot of legalese. It was just a matter of making technical changes in the code and changing the Privacy Act. [red]If somebody tells you 'Oh, I had the bill, I just read it, and it doesn't sound that bad' -- they wouldn't know what they had read! They took it out of the realm of real debate and serious thought, and just politicized it.[/red] TO: Were they trying to hide what it did or were they in a rush? RP: They were in a rush, and I don't think it would have stood the light of day. When the Homeland Security bill went back to the Senate they had the one key vote on whether or not they might be able to amend this bill. But that would have ruined it. That would have delayed it until next year. This was too serious. But they didn't know what was in there. It was all politics. It looks like we did something before the election, but by not delaying it and not allowing too much debate, it also did not let the public find out about exempting corporations from liability for vaccine shots, [etc.]. The list of the details is pretty long. Overall, it is just the elimination of the rule of law and allowing the government to do things that they aren't supposed to do. If they [want to spy on us], they should be getting very difficult to obtain search warrants. But it's open game now. I see the PATRIOT Act as making it easier to get search warrants and Homeland Security making it like they don't even need them anymore. TO: Will there be more efforts to limit our civil liberties? RP: They want as much unconditional authority [as possible] to do what they want to do. Until the people are annoyed, Congress won't wake up.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 2:12:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Zaphod: I'm waiting for Liberty86 to show up. He at least tries to make his cases logically...
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Cripes!!! I've seen some backhand slaps in my time, but that ones a beaut!! [:D] Zaph, from what I've seen, the only problem I have with it is holding American citizens indefinatly without charging them. We had one in Portland OR, earlier this spring. I got info from the "Free Mumia" crowd, (or whoever), and tried to find out more about the guy. He was painted as a regular Joe, of Arabic descent. I think he was held that way for a coupla months. Apparently born here, or very young when he came. Anyhow, at the end of it all, they threw the book at him, everything from suppling "Material Support", to traveling for training. He apparently funneled some large sums around to terrorists. Anyhow, it seems they're going after bad guys, and I haven't heard any different, (and I prolly would). Parts of the law sunset in 2005, and I look forward to that. If the law is reauthorized, no American will be safe. (It would just be a matter of time.)
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 2:14:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By liberty86: Bulshit Mac, look at how RICO was used against abortion protestors, when we were told it was for "Organized Crime", (read mafia). We used ta not have "no knock" warrants, now they're normal, thanks to the "war on drugs". I could go on, but you get the drift. NEVER COMPROMISE FREEDOM!!
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RICO is bad, ergo Patriot Act is bad. Mmm-kay. Need more than that to go on than that. So far only [b]SWIRE[/b] has produced anything even remotely resembling a rational post about what is specifically in the PA that is so evil. As far as the "new crime" of [u]Domestic Terrorism[/u], I want to learn more about this. But there IS such a thing as "terrorism" conducted in this country by American citizens. They are VERY well organized, funded and trained. To simply leave it to Barney Fife or Chief Moose to handle at the local level is not very wise. But I DO want to know more about that part of it. As far as "wireless" taps - that's only common sense. I approve of the new law. IIRC, it allows LEO to wiretap an individual REGARDLESS of which phone he uses. Before they had to get supoenas for specific phones, NOT specific people. With the PA they can tap the [u]person[/u] regardless of the phone. WRT "sneak/peak" searches, correct me if I'm wrong but that's not new. They were able to enter & search and THEN give you the warrant even before the PA. You didn't have to be at home and see the warrant ahead of time for them to enter. My point is nearly ALL objections to the PA voiced here on this thread and elsewhere are simply "slippery slope" objections. If it's as bad as ya'll say it is - that's what this thread is about. WE KNOW YOU GUYS OBJECT TO IT - SO STOP SIMPLY TELLING US "IT'S BAD BECAUSE IT'S BAD"! Tell us [b]specifically[/b] what parts of it are so evil? I'm not plugging my ears - I'll listen to ya' mon!!
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 2:30:24 PM EDT
[url]http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A7672-2003May18¬Found=true[/url]
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 2:32:52 PM EDT
[url]http://weinholds.org/patriotact.htm[/url]
Allows for indefinite detention of non-citizens who are not terrorists who have only minor visa violations. Minimizes judicial supervision of federal telephone and Internet surveillance by law enforcement authorities. Expands the ability of the government to conduct secret searches. Gives the Attorney General and the Secretary of State the power to designate domestic groups as terrorist organizations using vague criteria for defining a terrorist organization Grants the FBI broad access to sensitive personal and business records about individuals without having to show evidence of a crime. Leads to large-scale investigations of American citizens by the CIA for "intelligence" purposes.
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Link Posted: 6/18/2003 2:42:45 PM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Originally Posted By liberty86: Bulshit Mac, look at how RICO was used against abortion protestors, when we were told it was for "Organized Crime", (read mafia). We used ta not have "no knock" warrants, now they're normal, thanks to the "war on drugs". I could go on, but you get the drift. NEVER COMPROMISE FREEDOM!!
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RICO is bad, ergo Patriot Act is bad. Mmm-kay. Need more than that to go on than that.
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Yeah, how 'bout some voices from the past?? We are talking about human nature here MAC, it NEVER changes. You give a man authority over you, he WILL excercise it!! [b]George Washington "Government is not reason; it is not eloqence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." "The thing that separates the American Christian from every other person on earth is the fact that he would rather die on his feet, than live on his knees!" Daniel Webster "Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world." "The hand that destroys the Constitution rends our Union asunder forever." [/b]
So far only [b]SWIRE[/b] has produced anything even remotely resembling a rational post about what is specifically in the PA that is so evil.
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It's the fact that govt has TAKEN that power!! They infringed on ALL AMERICANS liberty! Isn't it you who says guns are already banned, they only have to pick them up?? Are you another of those myopic one issue people?? All you see is the second??
As far as the "new crime" of [u]Domestic Terrorism[/u], I want to learn more about this. But there IS such a thing as "terrorism" conducted in this country by American citizens. They are VERY well organized, funded and trained. To simply leave it to Barney Fife or Chief Moose to handle at the local level is not very wise. But I DO want to know more about that part of it. As far as "wireless" taps - that's only common sense. I approve of the new law. IIRC, it allows LEO to wiretap an individual REGARDLESS of which phone he uses. Before they had to get supoenas for specific phones, NOT specific people. With the PA they can tap the [u]person[/u] regardless of the phone. WRT "sneak/peak" searches, correct me if I'm wrong but that's not new. They were able to enter & search and THEN give you the warrant even before the PA. You didn't have to be at home and see the warrant ahead of time for them to enter.
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Now you don't get the warrant at all...(until you're charged)
My point is nearly ALL objections to the PA voiced here on this thread and elsewhere are simply "slippery slope" objections. If it's as bad as ya'll say it is - that's what this thread is about. WE KNOW YOU GUYS OBJECT TO IT - SO STOP SIMPLY TELLING US "IT'S BAD BECAUSE IT'S BAD"! Tell us [b]specifically[/b] what parts of it are so evil? I'm not plugging my ears - I'll listen to ya' mon!!
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You have already surrendered your liberty, and don't even know it... [b]Ben Franklin "They that would give up essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."[/b] Mac, what do you think tha above statement means??? Zaphod?? You too please.. The violation is, that they have the power to toss ANY American in jail, without charges. And our representatives gave it to 'em. And they're useing it, the precedent is set. It's been to court, and upheld. (Which of course, means nothing, it just gives them the "color", of legitamacy.) That's One of the problems.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 2:44:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2003 2:45:46 PM EDT by The_Macallan]
Thanks [b]cap'n[/b]! Originally Posted By captainpooby: [url]http://weinholds.org/patriotact.htm[/url] * [i]Allows for indefinite detention of non-citizens who are not terrorists who have only minor visa violations.[/i] GOOD! I got no problem with that. * [i]Minimizes judicial supervision of federal telephone and Internet surveillance by law enforcement authorities.[/i] "Minimizes"??? Is this the "roving wiretap" provision. No big deal. * [i]Expands the ability of the government to conduct secret searches.[/i] As opposed to telling Akmed beforehand so he can warn his fellow cell members whose names are on his "Logan Airport Itinerary". And does this mean 'warrantless searches'? * [i]Gives the Attorney General and the Secretary of State the power to designate domestic groups as terrorist organizations using vague criteria for defining a terrorist organization[/i] I want to see the criteria. * [i]Grants the FBI broad access to sensitive personal and business records about individuals without having to show evidence of a crime. Leads to large-scale investigations of American citizens by the CIA for "intelligence" purposes. [/i] Since when is your PUBLIC library record considered "PRIVATE" information and off limits to the Gov't (who actually owns the books you're borrowing anyway)???
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 2:57:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2003 3:00:09 PM EDT by captainpooby]
* Allows for indefinite detention of non-citizens who are not terrorists who have only minor visa violations. GOOD! I got no problem with that.
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I am a non-citizen. Thanks Mac. I think all information about me is none of anyones business let alone the governments unless I choose to give it to you. A minor visa violation could put me in the clink without bail or a lawyer for an indefinite period of time. Do you know how that feels?
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 3:02:10 PM EDT
The [b]Constitution[/b] was Written Especially so that the Patriot Act could not Happen. [b]Why DO You [b]Think[/b] They Call It The PATRIOT ACT[/b] It's A Stepping Stone to the Destruction of the America's FREEDOM. Just like banning the Bayonet was a stepping stone to banning the entire Semi-Auto Rifle, In communist California, ALL AR-15 are Gone. At least you are Seeking the Truth, Just Don't be Willfully Ignorant of the Truth that it Will be Abused. Right Now, there are 700 People In Jail, which the Government will not release their Names, or give bail, or let their Families visit them. How would YOU 'Zaphod' like to be One of them. Are you ready for your ID-GPS-MONEY micro-chip Implant. Let the TERROR begin. [size=1]^ Million Gun Freedom March on Washington July 4th, 2003. A Well-Regulated Militia Being Necessary To The... [url]www.Cures-not-wars.org/[/url] Truth Will Liberate Earth. [url]www.RKBA.org/antis/hci-master[/url]Allege 1993 feinstein/hci PRETEXT for TOTAL Gun Freedom Confiscation. [url]www.digitalAngel.net/[/url]Revelation 13:18 ID-GPS-MONEY BAN Human Power Implant Micro-chip. Never Again, Never Forget -- Seek the Truth , Liberate Your Mind -- We Are At War[/size=1] FIXED BAYONETS -- FORWARD VX
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 3:05:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2003 3:09:35 PM EDT by The_Macallan]
[b]Liberty86, SWIRE, & captainpooby[/b] - thanks for the food for thought. Most of what I had heard about the objections to the PA when it first came around was Chicken Little "sky is falling" unsupported bullshit from the usual suspects, here and elsewhere. MOST of their objections were just typical garbage so the very few kernals of real concern that were there were buried in bunk. The Borgman here still does it. When one cries wolf too many times over too many stupid things, they smother the few real important points that people would otherwise want to hear about. Aaaaaaaaanyway... I still think a lot of the PA is good. But those couple things you three guys pointed out are the things I wanted to hear about - without the shrill cries and hackneyed retreads of the chimps on the side. Thanks guys. You gave me good points to think about.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 3:25:15 PM EDT
Liberty86, SWIRE, & captainpooby - thanks for the food for thought. Most of what I had heard about the objections to the PA when it first came around was Chicken Little "sky is falling" unsupported bullshit from the usual suspects, here and elsewhere. MOST of their objections were just typical garbage so the very few kernals of real concern that were there were buried in bunk. The Borgman here still does it. When one cries wolf too many times over too many stupid things, they smother the few real important points that people would otherwise want to hear about. Aaaaaaaaanyway... I still think a lot of the PA is good. But those couple things you three guys pointed out are the things I wanted to hear about - without the shrill cries and hackneyed retreads of the chimps on the side. Thanks guys. You gave me good points to think about. By The Mac
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Being an non-citizen (but legal immigrant) and a firearms owner and member of three 2A organizations I see the terror of this act. Glad you have a mind that can be opened Mac.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 3:50:55 PM EDT
Here is a re-hash of what I posted on this a few days ago. I stand by my earlier remarks
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Here we go again... Anyone actually read the Patriot Act, or are you just regurgitating crap you read on the Internet and take as Gospel? I got assigned to do an analysis of the Patriot Act at work. Here is what it does (in a nutshell): -Applies the looser standards and more lenient search and wiretap authorities that have existed for decades in Foreign Counter Espionage cases to Foreign Counter Terrorism cases. These standards, basically longer wiretaps, searches without telling the suspect (black bag jobs) and other elements of spy world tradecraft only apply to to Foreign Counter Terrorism cases and not domestic ones. -Makes the State Department and INS keep better records on visas, immigrants and actually requires them to (gasp!) run criminal histories and record this information in central databases. Yeah, that is really shades of "Big Brother." -Allows the FBI to also enforce some immigration violations, so that when they don't have enough to arrest Joe Suspected Terrorist, but still don't feel safe around him, they can actually enforce the law about immigration status and boot him out of the country. -Gives some federal LE agencies increased authority to investigate suspected acts of terrorism against Americans overseas and to prosecute terrorists for those crimes. -Funds a bunch of 9-11 relief funds, rebuilding funds, victims funds and rewards for terrorist funds, plus the normal pork-barrel riders that you could expect from such an august, revered body as the US Congress. The only part that effects local LE was a provision that allows any LE agency to get personal data from a telecommunications service provider during an actual life-threatening emergency, like when someone calls 911 on a cell phone, but Acme Wireless won't give any customer information until Monday when they get served with a subpoena. Basically, the Patriot Act will not affect you unless you are: a) A foreign terrorist; b) A potential immigrant; c) An immigration violator; d) A victim of the 9-11 attacks, or someone who who suffered a loss during the attacks; e) A federal agent, now assigned to East Goatrope in the Republic of Kraplackistan, for CT duties. Sometimes I wonder if those excessive layers of tin foil are maybe causing some kind of oxygen deficiency around here. Next time, actually read the danged thing yourself instead of relying on some short-wave radio looney tune's analysis of it as the sole basis for your "informed opinion."
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 8:34:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2003 8:47:53 PM EDT by VX]
___________________________________ [size=1]Originally Posted By natez: Basically, the Patriot Act will not affect you unless you are: a) A foreign terrorist; b) A potential immigrant; c) An immigration violator; d) A victim of the 9-11 attacks, or someone who who suffered a loss during the attacks; e) A federal agent, now assigned to East Goatrope in the Republic of Kraplackistan, for CT duties.[/size=1] ____________________________________ So, As Long as I'm Not A Jew, It's Okay. [size=1]^ Million Gun Freedom March on Washington July 4th, 2003. A Well-Regulated Militia Being Necessary To The... [url]www.Cures-not-wars.org/[/url] Truth Will Liberate Earth. [url]www.RKBA.org/antis/hci-master[/url]Allege 1993 feinstein/hci PRETEXT for TOTAL Gun Freedom Confiscation. [url]www.digitalAngel.net/[/url]Revelation 13:18 ID-GPS-MONEY BAN Human Power Implant Micro-chip. Never Again, Never Forget -- Seek the Truth , Liberate Your Mind -- We Are At War[/size=1] FIXED BAYONETS -- FORWARD VX
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:48:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By natez: I got assigned to do an analysis of the Patriot Act at work. Here is what it does (in a nutshell):
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What are your credentials and what "work" do you do? Why should anyone believe that your analysis is valid? Here are just 2 of the many Patriot Act analysis done by other people for "work". [url=www.eff.org/Privacy/Surveillance/Terrorism_militias/20011031_eff_usa_patriot_analysis.php]EFF Analysis Of The Provisions Of The USA PATRIOT Act[/url] That Relate To Online Activities (Oct 31, 2001) Introduction On October 26, 2001, President Bush signed the USA Patriot Act (USAPA) into law. With this law we have given sweeping new powers to both domestic law enforcement and international intelligence agencies and have eliminated the checks and balances that previously gave courts the opportunity to ensure that these powers were not abused. Most of these checks and balances were put into place after previous misuse of surveillance powers by these agencies, including the revelation in 1974 that the FBI and foreign intelligence agencies had spied on over 10,000 U.S. citizens, including Martin Luther King. A Rush Job The bill is 342 pages long and makes changes, some large and some small, to over 15 different statutes. This document provides explanation and some analysis to the sections of the bill relating to online activities and surveillance. Other sections, including those devoted to money laundering, immigration and providing for the victims of terrorism, are not discussed here. Yet even just considering the surveillance and online provisions of the USAPA, it is a large and complex law that had over four different names and several versions in the five weeks between the introduction of its first predecessor and its final passage into law. While containing some sections that seem appropriate -- providing for victims of the September 11 attacks, increasing translation facilities and increasing forensic cybercrime capabilities -- it seems clear that the vast majority of the sections included have not been carefully studied by Congress, nor was sufficient time taken to debate it or to hear testimony from experts outside of law enforcement in the fields where it makes major changes. This concern is amplified because several of the key procedural processes applicable to any other proposed laws, including inter-agency review, the normal committee and hearing processes and thorough voting, were suspended for this bill. Were our Freedoms the Problem? The civil liberties of ordinary Americans have taken a tremendous blow with this law, especially the right to privacy in our online communications and activities. Yet there is no evidence that our previous civil liberties posed a barrier to the effective tracking or prosecution of terrorists. In fact, in asking for these broad new powers, the government made no showing that the previous powers of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to spy on US citizens were insufficient to allow them to investigate and prosecute acts of terrorism. The process leading to the passage of the bill did little to ease these concerns. To the contrary, they are amplified by the inclusion of so many provisions that, instead of aimed at terrorism, are aimed at nonviolent, domestic computer crime. In addition, although many of the provisions facially appear aimed at terrorism, the Government made no showing that the reasons they failed to detect the planning of the recent attacks or any other terrorist attacks were the civil liberties compromised with the passage of USAPA. Executive Summary Chief Concerns The EFF's chief concerns with the USAPA include: Expanded Surveillance With Reduced Checks and Balances. USAPA expands all four traditional tools of surveillance -- wiretaps, search warrants, pen/trap orders and subpoenas. Their counterparts under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that allow spying in the U.S. by foreign intelligence agencies have similarly been expanded. This means: Be careful what you put in that Google search. The government may now spy on web surfing of innocent Americans, including terms entered into search engines, by merely telling a judge anywhere in the U.S. that the spying could lead to information that is "relevant" to an ongoing criminal investigation. The person spied on does not have to be the target of the investigation. This application must be granted and the government is not obligated to report to the court or tell the person spied upon what it has done. Nationwide roving wiretaps. FBI and CIA can now go from phone to phone, computer to computer without demonstrating that each is even being used by a suspect or target of an order. The government may now serve a single wiretap, FISA wiretap or pen/trap order on any person or entity nationwide, regardless of whether that person or entity is named in the order. The government need not make any showing to a court that the particular information or communication to be acquired is relevant to a criminal investigation. In the pen/trap or FISA situations, they do not even have to report where they served the order or what information they received. The EFF believes that the opportunities for abuse of these broad new powers are immense. For pen/trap orders, ISPs or others who are not named in the do have authority under the law to request certification from the Attorney General's office that the order applies to them, but they do not have the authority to request such confirmation from a court. ISPs hand over more user information. The law makes two changes to increase how much information the government may obtain about users from their ISPs or others who handle or store their online communications. First it allows ISPs to voluntarily hand over all "non-content" information to law enforcement with no need for any court order or subpoena. sec. 212. Second, it expands the records that the government may seek with a simple subpoena (no court review required) to include records of session times and durations, temporarily assigned network (I.P.) addresses; means and source of payments, including credit card or bank account numbers. secs. 210, 211. New definitions of terrorism expand scope of surveillance. One new definition of terrorism and three expansions of previous terms also expand the scope of surveillance. They are 1) § 802 definition of "domestic terrorism" (amending 18 USC §2331), which raises concerns about legitimate protest activity resulting in conviction on terrorism charges, especially if violence erupts; adds to 3 existing definition of terrorism (int'l terrorism per 18 USC §2331, terrorism transcending national borders per 18 USC §2332b, and federal terrorism per amended 18 USC §2332b(g)(5)(B)). These new definitions also expose more people to surveillance (and potential "harboring" and "material support" liability, §§ 803, 805). Overbreadth with a lack of focus on terrorism. Several provisions of the USAPA have no apparent connection to preventing terrorism. These include: Government spying on suspected computer trespassers with no need for court order. Sec. 217. Adding samples to DNA database for those convicted of "any crime of violence." Sec. 503. The provision adds collection of DNA for terrorists, but then inexplicably also adds collection for the broad, non-terrorist category of "any crime of violence." Wiretaps now allowed for suspected violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This includes anyone suspected of "exceeding the authority" of a computer used in interstate commerce, causing over $5000 worth of combined damage.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:50:39 PM EDT
(continued) Dramatic increases to the scope and penalties of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This includes: 1) raising the maximum penalty for violations to 10 years (from 5) for a first offense and 20 years (from 10) for a second offense; 2) ensuring that violators only need to intend to cause damage generally, not intend to cause damage or other specified harm over the $5,000 statutory damage threshold; 3) allows aggregation of damages to different computers over a year to reach the $5,000 threshold; 4) enhance punishment for violations involving any (not just $5,000) damage to a government computer involved in criminal justice or the military; 5) include damage to foreign computers involved in US interstate commerce; 6) include state law offenses as priors for sentencing; 7) expand definition of loss to expressly include time spent investigating, responding, for damage assessment and for restoration. Allows Americans to be More Easily Spied Upon by US Foreign Intelligence Agencies. Just as the domestic law enforcement surveillance powers have expanded, the corollary powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act have also been greatly expanded, including: General Expansion of FISA Authority. FISA authority to spy on Americans or foreign persons in the US (and those who communicate with them) increased from situations where the suspicion that the person is the agent of a foreign government is "the" purpose of the surveillance to anytime that this is "a significant purpose" of the surveillance. Increased information sharing between domestic law enforcement and intelligence. This is a partial repeal of the wall put up in the 1970s after the discovery that the FBI and CIA had been conducting investigations on over half a million Americans during the McCarthy era and afterwards, including the pervasive surveillance of Martin Luther King in the 1960s. It allows wiretap results and grand jury information and other information collected in a criminal case to be disclosed to the intelligence agencies when the information constitutes foreign intelligence or foreign intelligence information, the latter being a broad new category created by this law. FISA detour around federal domestic surveillance limitations; domestic detour around FISA limitations. Domestic surveillance limits can be skirted by the Attorney General, for instance, by obtaining a FISA wiretap against a US person where "probable cause" does not exist, but when the person is suspected to be an agent of a foreign government. The information can then be shared with the FBI. The reverse is also true. [url=www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=12263&c=206]What is the USA PATRIOT Act?[/url] Just six weeks after the September 11 attacks, a panicked Congress passed the "USA/Patriot Act," an overnight revision of the nation's surveillance laws that vastly expanded the government's authority to spy on its own citizens, while simultaneously reducing checks and balances on those powers like judicial oversight, public accountability, and the ability to challenge government searches in court. Why Congress passed the Patriot Act Most of the changes to surveillance law made by the Patriot Act were part of a longstanding law enforcement wish list that had been previously rejected by Congress, in some cases repeatedly. Congress reversed course because it was bullied into it by the Bush Administration in the frightening weeks after the September 11 attack. The Senate version of the Patriot Act, which closely resembled the legislation requested by Attorney General John Ashcroft, was sent straight to the floor with no discussion, debate, or hearings. Many Senators complained that they had little chance to read it, much less analyze it, before having to vote. In the House, hearings were held, and a carefully constructed compromise bill emerged from the Judiciary Committee. But then, with no debate or consultation with rank-and-file members, the House leadership threw out the compromise bill and replaced it with legislation that mirrored the Senate version. Neither discussion nor amendments were permitted, and once again members barely had time to read the thick bill before they were forced to cast an up-or-down vote on it. The Bush Administration implied that members who voted against it would be blamed for any further attacks - a powerful threat at a time when the nation was expecting a second attack to come any moment and when reports of new anthrax letters were appearing daily. Congress and the Administration acted without any careful or systematic effort to determine whether weaknesses in our surveillance laws had contributed to the attacks, or whether the changes they were making would help prevent further attacks. Indeed, many of the act's provisions have nothing at all to do with terrorism. The Patriot Act increases the governments surveillance powers in four areas The Patriot Act increases the governments surveillance powers in four areas: Records searches. It expands the government's ability to look at records on an individual's activity being held by a third parties. (Section 215) Secret searches. It expands the government's ability to search private property without notice to the owner. (Section 213) Intelligence searches. It expands a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment that had been created for the collection of foreign intelligence information (Section 218). "Trap and trace" searches. It expands another Fourth Amendment exception for spying that collects "addressing" information about the origin and destination of communications, as opposed to the content (Section 214). 1. Expanded access to personal records held by third parties One of the most significant provisions of the Patriot Act makes it far easier for the authorities to gain access to records of citizens' activities being held by a third party. At a time when computerization is leading to the creation of more and more such records, Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows the FBI to force anyone at all - including doctors, libraries, bookstores, universities, and Internet service providers - to turn over records on their clients or customers. Unchecked power The result is unchecked government power to rifle through individuals' financial records, medical histories, Internet usage, bookstore purchases, library usage, travel patterns, or any other activity that leaves a record. Making matters worse: The government no longer has to show evidence that the subjects of search orders are an "agent of a foreign power," a requirement that previously protected Americans against abuse of this authority. The FBI does not even have to show a reasonable suspicion that the records are related to criminal activity, much less the requirement for "probable cause" that is listed in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. All the government needs to do is make the broad assertion that the request is related to an ongoing terrorism or foreign intelligence investigation. Judicial oversight of these new powers is essentially non-existent. The government must only certify to a judge - with no need for evidence or proof - that such a search meets the statute's broad criteria, and the judge does not even have the authority to reject the application.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:52:12 PM EDT
(continued) Surveillance orders can be based in part on a person's First Amendment activities, such as the books they read, the Web sites they visit, or a letter to the editor they have written. A person or organization forced to turn over records is prohibited from disclosing the search to anyone. As a result of this gag order, the subjects of surveillance never even find out that their personal records have been examined by the government. That undercuts an important check and balance on this power: the ability of individuals to challenge illegitimate searches. Why the Patriot Act's expansion of records searches is unconstitutional Section 215 of the Patriot Act violates the Constitution in several ways. It: Violates the Fourth Amendment, which says the government cannot conduct a search without obtaining a warrant and showing probable cause to believe that the person has committed or will commit a crime. Violates the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech by prohibiting the recipients of search orders from telling others about those orders, even where there is no real need for secrecy. Violates the First Amendment by effectively authorizing the FBI to launch investigations of American citizens in part for exercising their freedom of speech. Violates the Fourth Amendmentby failing to provide notice - even after the fact - to persons whose privacy has been compromised. Notice is also a key element of due process, which is guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. 2. More secret searches For centuries, common law has required that the government can't go into your property without telling you, and must therefore give you notice before it executes a search. That "knock and announce" principle has long been recognized as a part of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. The Patriot Act, however, unconstitutionally amends the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to allow the government to conduct searches without notifying the subjects, at least until long after the search has been executed. This means that the government can enter a house, apartment or office with a search warrant when the occupants are away, search through their property, take photographs, and in some cases even seize property - and not tell them until later. Notice is a crucial check on the government's power because it forces the authorities to operate in the open, and allows the subject of searches to protect their Fourth Amendment rights. For example, it allows them to point out irregularities in a warrant, such as the fact that the police are at the wrong address, or that the scope of the warrant is being exceeded (for example, by rifling through dresser drawers in a search for a stolen car). Search warrants often contain limits on what may be searched, but when the searching officers have complete and unsupervised discretion over a search, a property owner cannot defend his or her rights. Finally, this new "sneak and peek" power can be applied as part of normal criminal investigations; it has nothing to do with fighting terrorism or collecting foreign intelligence. 3. Expansion of the intelligence exception in wiretap law Under the Patriot Act, the FBI can secretly conduct a physical search or wiretap on American citizens to obtain evidence of crime without proving probable cause, as the Fourth Amendment explicitly requires. A 1978 law called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) created an exception to the Fourth Amendment's requirement for probable cause when the purpose of a wiretap or search was to gather foreign intelligence. The rationale was that since the search was not conducted for the purpose of gathering evidence to put someone on trial, the standards could be loosened. In a stark demonstration of why it can be dangerous to create exceptions to fundamental rights, however, the Patriot Act expanded this once-narrow exception to cover wiretaps and searches that DO collect evidence for regular domestic criminal cases. FISA previously allowed searches only if the primary purpose was to gather foreign intelligence. But the Patriot Act changes the law to allow searches when "a significant purpose" is intelligence. That lets the government circumvent the Constitution's probable cause requirement even when its main goal is ordinary law enforcement. The eagerness of many in law enforcement to dispense with the requirements of the Fourth Amendment was revealed in August 2002 by the secret court that oversees domestic intelligence spying (the "FISA Court"). Making public one of its opinions for the first time in history, the court revealed that it had rejected an attempt by the Bush Administration to allow criminal prosecutors to use intelligence warrants to evade the Fourth Amendment entirely. The court also noted that agents applying for warrants had regularly filed false and misleading information. That opinion is now on appeal. 4. Expansion of the "pen register" exception in wiretap law Another exception to the normal requirement for probable cause in wiretap law is also expanded by the Patriot Act. Years ago, when the law governing telephone wiretaps was written, a distinction was created between two types of surveillance. The first allows surveillance of the content or meaning of a communication, and the second only allows monitoring of the transactional or addressing information attached to a communication. It is like the difference between reading the address printed on the outside of a letter, and reading the letter inside, or listening to a phone conversation and merely recording the phone numbers dialed and received. Wiretaps limited to transactional or addressing information are known as "Pen register/trap and trace" searches (for the devices that were used on telephones to collect telephone numbers). The requirements for getting a PR/TT warrant are essentially non-existent: the FBI need not show probable cause or even reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. It must only certify to a judge - without having to prove it - that such a warrant would be "relevant" to an ongoing criminal investigation. And the judge does not even have the authority to reject the application.
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