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Anti-Terrorism Law Passed 777

Posted by timothy
from the a-little-temporary-safety dept.
Saratoga C++ writes: "Today (Oct 25) was the day that the US Senate voted on if to pass H.R. 3162, the anti-terrorism law. I have the roll call for today from the Senate. The only person with a "Nay" vote was Russ Feingold (D-WI). Thanks Russ. The final turn out was Yes: 98, No: 1, No Vote: 1."
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Anti-Terrorism Law Passed

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  • Courage (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gus goose (306978) on Thursday October 25, 2001 @11:56PM (#2481885) Journal
    Although the contents of the bill are debatable, the Nay vote either takes a lot of courage, or a lack of brains. That funny sound is the voice of disapproval circulating the senate.

    gus
  • by melquiades (314628) on Thursday October 25, 2001 @11:57PM (#2481886) Homepage
    I got lost in all the parlimentary process. The Senate voted for it with no expiration date; the house passed it, but with a presidential and subsequent congressional renewal clause in case of "unforseen abuses" (or forseen abuses, for that matter).

    I believe this final version passed with a (four-year?) expiration date, but I'm not sure I got that right.

    Does anybody have a definitive answer on this? (And no, "I heard X and Y" does not count. I'm talking about a link to and quote from a factually reputable news source.) If there is a time limit, what are the parameters?
    • Does this text help you? SEC. 224. SUNSET. (a) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subsection (b), this title and the amendments made by this title (other than sections 203(a), 203(c), 205, 208, 210, 211, 213, 216, 219, 221, and 222, and the amendments made by those sections) shall cease to have effect on December 31, 2005. So it sounds like it is a 4 year clause
    • Yes, sort of. This Washington Post [washingtonpost.com] article describes what happened. The sunset clause does NOT apply to all provisions, however. At least Ashcroft didn't get a completely blank check.

      -- Live Free Or Die (State Motto of New Hampshire)
    • From the CNN [cnn.com] story:
      But the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said negotiators have placed safeguards on the legislation, like a four-year expiration date on the wiretapping and electronic surveillance portion, court permission before snooping into suspects' formerly private educational records and court oversight over the FBI's use of a powerful e-mail wiretap system.
      So yes, on significant portions of the bill there's a four-year sunset.
    • by limbostar (116177) <stephenNO@SPAMawdang.com> on Friday October 26, 2001 @12:16AM (#2481975) Homepage
      The text of the bill as passed to the senate is posted on the site:

      SEC. 224. SUNSET.

      (a) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subsection (b), this title and the amendments made by this title (other than sections 203(a), 203(c), 205, 208, 210, 211, 213, 216, 219, 221, and 222, and the amendments made by those sections) shall cease to have effect on December 31, 2005.

      http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c107:H.R.316 2: [loc.gov]

      In particular, there is this:
      SEC. 224. SUNSET.

      (a) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subsection (b), this title and the amendments made by this title (other than sections 203(a), 203(c), 205, 208, 210, 211, 213, 216, 219, 221, and 222, and the amendments made by those sections) shall cease to have effect on December 31, 2005.

      (b) EXCEPTION- With respect to any particular foreign intelligence investigation that began before the date on which the provisions referred to in subsection (a) cease to have effect, or with respect to any particular offense or potential offense that began or occurred before the date on which such provisions cease to have effect, such provisions shall continue in effect.
      IANAL, but I read this as 'Most of the stuff in this bill dies in 2006, unless it's actively being used at that time.'

      The stuff that will not die includes:
      • Authority to share criminal investigative information
      • Employment of translators by the FBI
      • Something about number of judges from somewhere being increased from 7 to 11 (no shit, read it yourself)
      • what information can be reported about a suspect (I think, it's not clear)
      • what agencies that information can be reported to
      • THE DELAY OF WARRANT NOTIFICATION in the event it would cause 'adverse results'
      • lots of stuff about wiretapping (section 216)
      • single-jurisdiction search warrants for terrorism
      • sanctions against the taliban (in particular! not just afghanistan in general) and Syria
      • the assurance of compensation for compliance with federal officials
      The warrant notice scares me the most. Does that mean that I can be arrested and then not be presented with a warrant, or that my house could be searched and I could not be presented with a warrant?

      • The warrant notice scares me the most. Does that mean that I can be arrested and then not be presented with a warrant, or that my house could be searched and I could not be presented with a warrant?


        from thomas.loc.gov -> HR 3162:

        SEC. 213. AUTHORITY FOR DELAYING NOTICE OF THE EXECUTION OF A WARRANT.

        Section 3103a of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

        (1) by inserting `(a) IN GENERAL- ' before `In addition'; and

        (2) by adding at the end the following:

        `(b) DELAY- With respect to the issuance of any warrant or court order under this section, or any other rule of law, to search for and seize any property or material that constitutes evidence of a criminal offense in violation of the laws of the United States, any notice required, or that may be required, to be given may be delayed if--

        `(1) the court finds reasonable cause to believe that providing immediate notification of the execution of the warrant may have an adverse result (as defined in section 2705);

        `(2) the warrant prohibits the seizure of any tangible property, any wire or electronic communication (as defined in section 2510), or, except as expressly provided in chapter 121, any stored wire or electronic information, except where the court finds reasonable necessity for the seizure; and

        `(3) the warrant provides for the giving of such notice within a reasonable period of its execution, which period may thereafter be extended by the court for good cause shown.'.


        from U.S. Code at cornell's Legal information institute:


        t18 s2705:
        (2) An adverse result for the purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection is -
        (A) endangering the life or physical safety of an individual;
        (B) flight from prosecution;
        (C) destruction of or tampering with evidence;
        (D) intimidation of potential witnesses; or
        (E) otherwise seriously jeopardizing an investigation or unduly
        delaying a trial.


        so... what, if they believe you'll destroy the evidence they don't have to serve you with the warrant when they search your house?

        [IANAL] i guess it's better to not have the warrant served than to lower the standard from probable cause to reasonable doubt, as they did with auto searches. perhaps it's still a deal with the devil, but this, i think, is at least a better balance: police have to have the same standard of proof that they do now, but they can phone a judge and get a phone-warrant and search immediately if there is a risk of flight. if they don't have probable cause, they don't get to search. if they have probable cause, they don't have to have the paper right there.
      • December 31, 2005. Start around 6 or 7. BYOB.
  • One question... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by toupsie (88295) on Thursday October 25, 2001 @11:57PM (#2481889) Homepage
    How comes the anti-terrorism bill punishes law abiding citizens and not the terrorists? Enquiring minds what to know!
  • More? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Liquid(TJ) (318258)
    Not that I'm a fan of the bill or anything, but if this is the only legislation that goes through as a result of 911, then civil liberties got lucky. It could have been a lot worse.
    • We've reached a plateau with this legislation, really. It's so bad that if it were worse, it would only still be at the same level of bad. Or something like that...

      This legislation makes it legal for the FBI to read every line of every header on every packet that ever goes out on the Internet, without a warrant. That means that the FBI can legally quite easily maintain lists of who visits what websites, who sends whom e-mail, etc. This is analogous to how the FBI used to send people to follow dissidents and people with political beliefs they didn't like, and wait for them to do something they could exploit publicly to embarrass someone, or privately to blackmail someone (like they did to Martin Luther King, Jr., with his affair). Do you ever do anything at all online that you wouldn't want everyone in the world to know about? Then don't speak out too loudly against whatever ever-more-draconian things the FBI wants, or you may get on their radar. Ever do anything that's technically illegal, or can otherwise get you into trouble, even though whether it should is debatable? Like, gamble, protest (just ask the WTO protesters how often they get arrested for exercising this *right*, even peacefully), visit European or Asian pr0n sites where some of the models are 16 because it's perfectly legal in that given country, be gay and in the military, tear the tag off the mattress at the store, write literature or have performances that get deemed a violation of your community's standards, etc.? Just don't say anything about it or e-mail anything about it or visit any sites related to it, on the Internet.

      Oh, and if you ever gamble online, you're helping terrorists to launder money, BTW, and don't be surprised if it gets you into a lot of trouble. Granted, no one has ever maintained that any major online offshore gambling houses are actually being used by terrorists to launder anything; this was just moralizing rightwingers using terrorism as an excuse to foist their morality on everyone else. And that is despicable.

      And don't ever visit online boards filled with political dissidents and prograssives, like the Independent Media Center which is somethimes the only source of good information on and from protests--unless you want to get on a McCarthyesque list or get detained for questioning by the FBI. After all, they served the IMC with a search warrant this year after the WTO/IMF protest in Canada, which would have forced them to turn over all server logs so that the FBI could find out who was posting updates from the protest so that they could interrogate those people about some documents or somesuch which were taken from a police car (IIRC), and a gag order to prevent them from revealing it to site visitors. They warrant was quashed, being unconstitutional and all. But now, THEY DON"T NEED A WARRANT. They have license to gather all that data for themselves by directly bugging the Internet backbone. And if something they want slips through, or is encrypted and has its path scrambled by something like a Mixmaster remailer, then this legislation makes it very easy for them to get a warrant and search logs or install password sniffers while you're away without even telling you they were ever there.

      Slashdot has already carried a story about the FBI's proposal to concentrate all Internet traffic at a few key points to that it can do just that sort of broad monitoring of every Internet user everywhere. Funny thing is, it's an idea which came to the FBI 2 years ago. Interesting how something the FBI has been secretly lusting after for years is now the answer to the present situation, eh? They're just opportunists who have been wanting this power, and the current situation gives them an excuse for circumventing the Constitution with only a single senator voting against their power grab.

      And once the FBI has its closed boxes installed throughout the Internet backbone, is there any way to really prevent them from looking at more than just the header data that they can now get, legally, without a warrant? Recent studies indicate that there are thousands of illegal telephone wiretaps performed by law enforcement agencies each year in the U.S. With the power to instantly see what anyone is doing on the Net, probably with no one ever being the wiser, that is an even greater temptation to abuse. They will implement such capabilities into their closed and secret boxes under the auspices of needing the capabilities for when they get search warrants to read the data itself, not just its headers; and then no one is there looking over their shoulders to make sure they don't take peeks whenever they want, without warrants, or with a warrant that's just a rubber stamp from a judge in their pocket who makes it a secret warrant under this new law, that no one ever need know about?

      And what is the FBI if not an agency which has proven its capacity to abuse power, along with its sister agencies like the ATF? The entire Reno administration in the DOJ was one long abuse of the people, from using pyrotechnic devices at Waco and lying about it for 8 years until it was proven by their own photographs and documents which had been conveniently misplaced, to the murder of two innocent people at Ruby Ridge (the man they came to arrest won a million+ dollar lawsuit against them), to deporting a minor child on very dubious grounds while his custody proceedings were still moving forward in a state Court, just to prove a political point, to lying to the U.S. Army to get military training for agents under a law that says agents can get military training only when preparing for an international drug bust, when those agents were serving a warrant for 1 count of selling a shotgun with a too-short barrel, to inventing allegations of child abuse in several cases which were later disproved, for the purposes of making a defendant who would have been vindicated look bad. And the Ashcroft DOJ is looking at least as bad.

      Don't forget that Hoover may be dead, but his training and indoctrination methods are still very much alive at the FBI, where new agents are still taught according to principles he established. Terrorism isn't the greatest threat to freedom in this country; the DOJ is.

      Ponder this Vietnam-era quote:

      "The mushrooming of surveillance has been explained by the sense of panic
      and crisis felt throughout the government during this period of extremely
      vocal dissent, large demonstrations, political and campus violence, and
      what at the time seemed the inauguration of a period of wide- spread
      anarchy. While officials... suggested that these crises justified the
      surveillance, they failed to recognize that the rights guaranteed by the
      constitution are constant and unbending to the temper of the times..."
      --Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, 1973

      And how about these old stand-bys:

      "Implicit in the term 'national defense' is the notion of defending those
      values and ideals which set this Nation apart... It would indeed be
      ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the
      subversion of one of those liberties... which makes the defense of the
      Nation worthwhile."--Chief Justice Earl Warren, U.S. Supreme Court, US v Robel

      "An elective despotism was not the government we fought for." -- Thomas Jefferson

      "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the
      argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."--William Pitt to the House of Commons, November 18, 1783

      "Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, nor
      to have fewer rights than he had before, but to have those rights better
      secured."--Thomas Paine, 1791

      "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty
      when the government's purposes are beneficient . . . the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding."--Justice Louis Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court

      "Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, What should be the reward of such sacrifices? ... If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude than the animating contest of freedom--go from us in peace. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you."--Sam Adams

      "When people fear the government, there is tyranny. When government fears the people, there is liberty."-- Thomas Paine

      "You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get
      yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is
      to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding
      fathers used in the great struggle for independence."--Charles Austin Beard, 1874 - 1948

      These are my "stock quotes" that I drag out on discussion boards and on USENET whenever I see a well-intioned post which goes against these words of wisdom from men greater than you or me, men who established or defended and defined the rights which we now enjoy as proud Americans. But I am not proud of my country at this. We have set a precedent which is terrible, and tommorrow when the President signs the bill into law we will have lost rights which it may take generations to recover--if we ever do. Sure, it's meant to be temporary--but it can be passed again, permanently, after we've gotten used to having no more 4th Amendment rights the moment we turn on a computer. Remember that the income tax which we now all pay so copiously was passed as a temporary measure to fund the Spanish-American War. Remember that Social Security, which we all still have to pay with no opt-out option, was a temporary measure to help soften the Depression.

      Temporary things have a habit of becoming permanent in this country. Just ask the people who had to foment a Revolution to get out from under the burden of so many "temporary" taxes the English imposed upon their Colonies.

      This is the sort of invasion of liberties which, historically, has slowly caused armed revolutions. Three hundred years from now, they may be studying this and similar events in high schools much as we study the small erosions of freedom which by themselves were considered nothing, but which together are considered the genesis of the American Revolution. Strong words? No, strong legislation. At best, history will judge the next years under this law as being not unlike a new McCarthyism.
  • ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stressky (218896) on Thursday October 25, 2001 @11:59PM (#2481902) Homepage
    Bush to american citizens :

    "All your freedoms are belong to us!
    (For great justice!)"

  • heheh (Score:3, Funny)

    by UserChrisCanter4 (464072) on Thursday October 25, 2001 @11:59PM (#2481906)
    Heard in the Senate the following day:

    "Wow, that bill SURE must be popular! Look at how many hits the web version of the detailed summary got LAST NIGHT ALONE!"
  • Anyone who argues "Oh, I don't care if they invade my privacy, I'm not doing anything illegal." should watch the movie Enemy of the State. At first Will Smith has that exact same attitude, until the middle of the movie where he spins it around to "That's... None of your damn business! Leave me alone!"
    • by kev-san (66245) <kevin.carterNO@SPAMcolorado.edu> on Friday October 26, 2001 @12:47AM (#2482076) Homepage
      Anyone who argues "Oh, I don't care if they invade my privacy, I'm not doing anything illegal." should watch the movie Enemy of the State. At first Will Smith has that exact same attitude, until the middle of the movie where he spins it around to "That's... None of your damn business! Leave me alone!"

      Shhhhhhhhhhhh.

      It's not that I don't agree with you. I do. But, for the love of all that is good and holy, don't base your philosophical opinions on Enemy of the State.
    • Yes, I mentioned this movie a month ago. It is SO important that people watch this and ask themselves, "Do I really want to live like this?" Some may say, "Well, it's just a movie, that would never REALLY happen." Then ask them if the law should ALLOW it to happen - because if it's ALLOWED to happen, there's the potential for it to REALLY happen. Nevertheless, I think my sig speaks for itself.
  • by Xpilot (117961) on Friday October 26, 2001 @12:02AM (#2481913) Homepage
    Terrorist 1 : Hey, I'm bored. Let's commits acts of terrorism today

    Terrorist 2 : But, that's illegal now!

    Terrorist 1 : Oh darn. Oh well, let's go fishing instead.
    • Ashcroft's speech (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dachshund (300733) on Friday October 26, 2001 @12:32AM (#2482023)
      I listened to Ashcroft's speech on CNN. Not only did it read as a how-to of what not to do if you're a terrorist in the US, it sounded pretty damn ominous for the rest of us (generally) law-abiding types. Ashcroft is not a sympathetic guy.

      I can imagine what the more pragmatic law-enforcement agents are thinking right now: "gee, this probably won't do a damn thing to stop terrorism, but think how many marijuana dealers we'll pick up now. yippee."

  • Unfortunately, I only have a link to the FoxNews site, so excuse the decided lean to the right: FBI to Broaden Web Wiretapping [foxnews.com].

    Stewart Baker, an attorney at the Washington D.C.-based Steptoe & Johnson and a former general consul to National Security Agency, said the FBI has plans to change the architecture of the Internet and route traffic through central servers that it would be able to monitor e-mail more easily.

    This has been mentioned before, possibly even on slashdot, but it is probably worth repeating. Various comments from people who know suggest that the FBI will probably break the internet in trying to funnel it all through their Carnivore++ setup. If this really comes to pass.

    Reading further down in the article, it would seem that the FBI is really just going to lean on AOL, earthlink, yahoo, hotmail/MS, etc to make sure it has unbridled access to email, but who knows for now. In the end, I'm sure it will all work out for the, um, best.

    • Ok, so start installing IPSec software on your computer and/or buying internet routers for other OSs that can't be modified easily (you _do_ use a little box between your Windows box and your DSL line, right?) that support IPSec.

      Then, start pushing content servers to support opportunistic encryption (spontaneously set up a VPN tunnel between you and the target when you start communicating) ... so much for evesdropping.

      How many people are still fetching their E-mail from remote machines without using secure POP3 or IMAP?
      • How many people are still fetching their E-mail from remote machines without using secure POP3 or IMAP?

        How many of them still send it to that "secure server" unencrypted? After all you can send email with a telnet client if you wanted to do so.
  • Question... (Score:2, Interesting)

    To all of you who think that this bill "trashes civil rights", as Michael "Slashbot" Simms believes.

    Exactly how is your freedom and/or liberty curtailed by this bill? Exactly what are you unable to do now that you were able to do before?

    Clearly, if civil rights have been "trashed", there must be endless examples. And by the way, "potential" abuses don't count. I want REAL examples.

    • Yes, and Hitler was VOTED into his office, then he slowly took away people rights, one by one..

      Then there were none....I guess the real quesiton is what's next...

      • Re:Question... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by EchoMirage (29419)
        Yes, and Hitler was VOTED into his office, then he slowly took away people rights, one by one..

        America has a very strong history of protecting its civil rights, even in instances where they have been [apparantly] in jeopardy. It's extremely vogue here on Slashdot to make all manner of reference to the Nazi regime and other recent 20th-century democracies that have slipped into fascism or autocracy (BTW, off topic, the term fascism is horribly misused on this site).

        The missing piece in the argument is that the American democratic republic is radically different in several key areas from other democracies and republics, especially European ones. Americans historically have a very high sense of self-preservation. The events of September 11th have massively re-inforced this notion. That self-preservation extends to issues of civil rights.

        Americans have adamantly defended their basic liberties throughout history. There is not a sleeper majority of the American public that is apathetic to this issue. To be sure, the majority is less informed than Slashdot viewers (thanks to a handful of schizophrenic editors *coughing*timothy*coughing*), but that doesn't dissolve into the slippery slope wherein it is imagined that tomorrow, Americans wake up to telescreens on their walls.

        What am I getting at? This bill, in its basic letter form, is dangerous, but that doesn't mean that the government has been given free reign to abuse civil liberties. If abuses start, the public will speak out, and this bill will be quickly curbed.

        Stop worrying. You haven't been put in shackles.

        Now go ahead and mod me down for disagreeing, per the Slashdot norm.
        • Re:Question... (Score:2, Informative)

          by abolith (204863)
          Stop worrying. You haven't been put in shackles

          yet.........

          there is always reason to worry. The day you stop worrying is the day find those shackles on your feet and arms. ALWAYS worry about your freedom cause no one else will.

        • "we are different" (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mj6798 (514047) on Friday October 26, 2001 @02:54AM (#2482347)
          The missing piece in the argument is that the American democratic republic is radically different in several key areas from other democracies and republics, especially European ones. Americans historically have a very high sense of self-preservation.

          And you think Europeans didn't? Come on, what kind of argument is that?

          The main historical difference is that until the mid-20th century, the US was an agricultural frontier society: if you didn't like goverment, you could move or change your identity (as long as you were white and male). Europe at the time already was densely populated and had a well-functioning administration in place.

          It's only over the last few decades that the US has gotten the technology to track, supervise, and control its population. But now that it's here, the US political system has not caught up with it, and neither have the political sensitivities of the US population.

          And even in its earlier periods, the US managed to almost completely exterminate American Indians, deny democracy to the majority of its citizens, and enslave blacks. The US does not have a stellar record of democracy, individual freedoms, or justice. And unlike those European countries, the US still has the same political and legal systems in place that allowed those abuses.

          If abuses start, the public will speak out, and this bill will be quickly curbed.

          If people risk their jobs, credit records, government surveillance, and being thrown in jail for being "suspected terrorists", "the public" will quickly become quiet.

      • Re:Question... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mliu (85608)
        well, sorry to nitpick you, but technically this isn't true, and I hate to see wrong information being spread.

        http://gi.grolier.com/wwii/wwii_hitler.html

        Hitler actually lost the general election to the incumbent Paul von Hindenburg. He was subsequently _appointed_ chancellor by von Hindenburg, who thought that he could use Hitler to his own advantage, and form a coalition government. Unfortunately for everyone, he was mistaken.

        A better example perhaps of dictator being voted into power would be Mussolini in Italy. There he was voted into office like you said, and slowly took away people's rights one by one....

        http://gi.grolier.com/wwii/wwii_mussolini.html
    • Oh kay, so a bill that gave the government unlimited power to control my life wouldn't matter if the gov't promised to play nice? Potential abuse is by far the best standard to evaluating rights, especially those such as privacy rights. They are usually encroached covertly, and so I could never point to any evidence that the gov't was violating my privacy rights, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be restrictions on gov't power.

      F-bacher
    • Re:Question... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by moheeb (228831)
      Dude!....the thing just passed today....I don't think there are endless examples of "real" abuses yet.
    • Re:Question... (Score:2, Informative)

      by PingXao (153057)
      I don't subscribe to The Progressive's viewpoints on all issues, but this article [progressive.org] pretty well sums up the dangers.
      And, most seriously of all, it would take a sledgehammer to every American's Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Under the new law, police wouldn't need to notify you when they were about to search your home. Instead, as long as they had a warrant and as long as they claimed that notifying you would obstruct their investigation, they could go in and search your place and tell you about it later.
      • Under the new law, police wouldn't need to notify you when they were about to search your home. Instead, as long as they had a warrant and as long as they claimed that notifying you would obstruct their investigation, they could go in and search your place and tell you about it later.

        OK, let's review the fourth amendment:

        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.

        Where exactly does it say you have the right to know that you're being searched? To be honest, I'm not even sure you ever had that right. Could a real lawyer comment on this? It seems like simple common sense that you don't tell a criminal that you're going to search his house because, duh, then he moves all the stuff that you're looking for. I mean, if the police show up at someone's house with a warrant, and that person isn't home, I don't they have to come back later.

    • FWIW, and I haven't read the actual text of the bill yet, it seems that most of the freedom-smashing sections are specifically against aliens and non-residents.
      • most of the freedom-smashing sections are specifically against aliens and non-residents.

        And that's the worst part. We are a country that consists almost entirely of aliens -- very few of us have lived here for more than a few generations. I know few people that can't immediately tell me which great-grandfather came here, and from what country. One of the things that makes America great (and is the basis of our country, historically-speaking) is the opportunity that we present to people coming here to seek a better life.

        So now we think it's OK to hold an alien for seven days before charging them with a crime. This will be the worst on migrant latino workers, the people that make this country run on a day to day basis, the most trod-upon class of Americans. (Yes, I called them Americans.) Sure, this has been passed in the name of fighting terrorism, but I guarantee that the INS is going to seize this opportunity to harass migrants, knowing that they can now threaten to throw them in prison for seven days before deciding that they're not going to charge them, given that they are here legally after all.

        People saying that this law doesn't affect them are probably right. Because Slashdot users (I'd best cash on this) consist primarily of white males between the ages of 16 and 40 that were born and raised in the United States in middle-class families. So they don't give a damn about Mexicans, or poor laborers, or, gods help them, people of Indian or Pakastani descent. They're just looking at this bill and saying "hey, it doens't affect me."

        I'll spare you the tired speech of "first they came for my guns, but I didn't have any, then they came for my..." etc. Our freedoms are being chipped away at. This bill is just the start, mark my words.

        -Waldo Jaquith
        • I appreciate your comments, but please also note that I'm canadian and we have a much higher rate of immigrants to citizens than the USA last I checked.

          Lets hope we don't submit to the pressure for a N-A security border ...
        • We are a country that consists almost entirely of aliens...

          I know - every day it seems like Corporate America is getting more and MORE managers and less of the rest of us :-(.
        • will be the worst on migrant latino workers, the people that make this country run on a day to day basis, the most trod-upon class of Americans.

          I used to live in LA. All over LA, you see people with Mexican flags on their cars, and those stupid window stickers showing Calvin peeing on something. In Los Angeles, Calvin is usually peeing on one of 3 things.

          1. A Ford emblem
          2. the word "America"
          3. The phrase "La Migra"

          Once you have seen enough "I hate your country" stickers, you start to care a little less about the "delicate sensibilities" of the illegal alien. If the Feds want to take a non-citizen out of his I-hate-America-stickered car and sweat him for 7 days, more power to them.

          Maybe that makes me a white racist nationalistic baby-killing seal-clubbing monster. I don't care anymore.

          Why can't I ever see someone with a Mexican AND American flag on their car? That would be great. It's OK to be into your roots and all that. It's even OK to advertise your hate for the country. But if you ain't a citizen, I don't have a problem with curtailing your rights.

          I'm one of those gun nuts, I know all about the slippery slope, but I am still fed up, and I am willing to throw the aliens to the government dogs. Hopefully that will keep them busy for a while. Maybe they'll even catch some bad guys.
          • Son, why are you so angry? Back when I was in highschool, I was a libertarian/objectivist/gunidiot too, but trust me, no one thinks you are cool. I understand that getting riled up feels good, but it will not get you closer to the truth.

            I've lived in LA all my life, and as the previous poster said, I've also never seen Calvin pissing on America. Yes, on Ford, and La Migra, but never on America. The people driving cars with Calvin pissin on Ford are white hicks driving Chevys, and the people driving trucks with Calvin pissing on La Migra are Mexican-American citizens. Illegal aliens don't have nice trucks to stick Calvin stickers on, fool.

            So, yes, you do sound like an ignorant baby-killing seal-clubbing monster. And "I don't care anymore" makes you sound like an a panty waste apathetic bourgeois sheep still stuck in the memes you read on some stupid website.

            Please, you have an education and some computer skills. Don't let your mind go to waste. Find the truth.

            LS
          • Hey,

            Once you have seen enough "I hate your country" stickers, you start to care a little less about the "delicate sensibilities" of the illegal alien.

            Some would say that saying 'I hate America' is free speech, just as saying 'I hate the American government' is free speech.

            I mean, if the 'feds' can "take a non-citizen out of his I-hate-America-stickered car and sweat him for 7 days" for "Illigal posession of an un-American car window sticker", that makes expressing your disagreement with America as a whole rather difficult.

            I'm not going to pretend I know everything. Hell, I don't. But I do know that reducing the civil liberties of US citizens in the search for 'safety' isn't going to prevent terrorism. It's simply going to reduce the civil liberties of US citizens.

            Maybe that makes me a white racist nationalistic baby-killing seal-clubbing monster. I don't care anymore.

            Some would say that if you 'don't care' about taking the time to form a well-considered opinion, whatever opinions you have are worthless.

            Michael
    • You want a real palpable example of how this could be a problem (or how it is)? Today on CNN or some other propaganda spewing network (may as well get my bias out of the way) they relayed the FBI's claim that they had 1000 people in custody as a result of the terrorist investigation. That's 1000 people in the United States, now in jail. Now, perhaps a few of them have expired visas, but I have serious doubts that these are 1000 terrorists. These arrests and the investigations leading to them were made without this new USA act. Think about it, the FBI has managed to scrounge up 1000 people in just a month and claims to need more power. How many people can they actually arrest?

      The measures put into place by this law put far too much power in the hands of law enforcement. In times like these, many expect the law to act in an uncorrupted fashion, and indeed it may in this case. These laws, however, will remain on the books. I don't think I'm a conspiracy theorist to assume that they'll be exploited in the future. The sunset provision was a great idea and the fact that Ashcroft flat-out blasted it shows just how the FBI plans to use its new power.

      As for an example explicitly using these laws. Just wait for the next domestic G7/WTO/whatever conference. I can guarantee that the anti-terrorist laws will be used to curb anti-globalism/economic disruption protest. Just as the government used the drug war to stop progressive groups in the past, it will use the war against terrorism to do the same today.
    • Re:Question... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by firewort (180062)

      I'm taking my best shot at answering in the same spirit the question was asked- for inspiring debate.

      Civil rights are as much about what you can do, as what you cannot.

      Thanks to this legislation, you cannot be certain that your home, and any object in it has not been disturbed by law enforcement officials in your absence. Law Enforcement doesn't have to notify you before invading your home and going fishing through your personal property. (This is another chip off of the 4th amendment- before this legislation there'd have been a warrant that would have to be served to me.)

      Thanks to this legislation, if you have a guest over to your house, and he uses your telephone, you will never know if your phone has been tapped.
      (Please don't tell me about what kind of company I keep- I let people who've had auto accidents outside my house use my telephone.)

      Thanks to this legislation, I have no security in my person, house, papers, and effects against search and seizures conducted without a warrant issued under probable cause. I don't believe that law enforcement can determine probable cause, that's for a judge, and this legislation removes the need for a judge to make this determination.

      Traditionally, the bar for what's an unreasonable search was easy to understand- with few exceptions, almost any search conducted without a warrant was unreasonable. This bar has now been removed. Warrants had to specify exactly what was to be searched, and law enforcement could not just go fishing and hope to find evidence of a crime, as they now can.

      While I don't engage in any behavior I know to be illegal, ignorance of the law is no excuse in court, and without my knowing from notice of a warrant that I'm under suspicion, I cannot live freely with the knowledge that, at any time, I may be under investigation, or hauled in for a crime I did not commit, or an action I did not know was a crime.
    • Re:Question... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mliu (85608)
      >Clearly, if civil rights have been "trashed",
      >there must be endless examples. And by the
      >way, "potential" abuses don't count. I want REAL
      >examples.

      And why the Hell would, as you put it, "potential" abuses not count?

      So if they were to pass a law saying its ok for police to break into your house, without any liability for any damages whatsoever, and confiscate whatever they see fit with no limitations, on the mere suspicion that you may have pirated copyrighted material on your computer - but they passed this law with the promise that this won't be used against good people and won't abuse it. So in that case, that would be ok with you? I mean, they say they won't use it against good people, that they won't abuse it. Just because it has the potential to be abused doesn't mean that it will, so it should be alright right?

      Give me one concrete example of what you could do before that you can't do now. I don't give a damn about quote unquote "potential" abuses, I want REAL examples. C'mon, be exact.

      What the Hell do you even mean when you say "potential" versus REAL examples? This law hasn't even been passed yet, how can anything besides potential examples even exist yet?

      I mean, obviously this is an extreme example, but extreme examples are useful in that they point out the flaws that may be present in the reasoning on not-so-extreme examples. The price of liberty is eternal vigilence. Don't let a law pass today that has the potential to be abused, and then complain down the road when it is abused....
  • by Boone^ (151057) on Friday October 26, 2001 @12:06AM (#2481933)
    on the Bill are here [senate.gov]. Here's some snippits on why he voted no:
    The Founders who wrote our Constitution and Bill of Rights exercised that vigilance even though they had recently fought and won the Revolutionary War. They did not live in comfortable and easy times of hypothetical enemies. They wrote a Constitution of limited powers and an explicit Bill of Rights to protect liberty in times of war, as well as in times of peace.

    ...

    We in this body have a duty to analyze, to test, to weigh new laws that the zealous and often sincere advocates of security would suggest to us. This is what I have tried to do with this anti-terrorism bill. And that is why I will vote against this bill when the roll is called.

    Protecting the safety of the American people is a solemn duty of the Congress; we must work tirelessly to prevent more tragedies like the devastating attacks of September 11th. We must prevent more children from losing their mothers, more wives from losing their husbands, and more firefighters from losing their heroic colleagues. But the Congress will fulfill its duty only when it protects both the American people and the freedoms at the foundation of American society. So let us preserve our heritage of basic rights. Let us practice as well as preach that liberty. And let us fight to maintain that freedom that we call America.

    He voted no because he felt people were losing some of their basic constitutional rights in order to "shore up" our security. While I voted for the guy in the last election and don't agree with his Nay Vote on this Bill, at least the guy had the guts to stand up for what he believed in.
    • While I voted for the guy in the last election and don't agree with his Nay Vote on this Bill, at least the guy had the guts to stand up for what he believed in.

      Samuel Adams stood virtually alone for years in his bid to defeat slavery (and this was after his stint as President). I'm not saying we have a modern day Adams in the Senate, but that standing alone doesn't make you wrong.
      • Samuel Adams stood virtually alone for years in his bid to defeat slavery (and this was after his stint as President). I'm not saying we have a modern day Adams in the Senate, but that standing alone doesn't make you wrong.


        Sam Adams was never president, John Adams and John Quincy Adams were. Samuel did say this, which is apropos:

        "If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."

    • I've heard a lot recently about how "un-American" Feingold's vote was (I'm from Wisconsin). I don't understand how people are getting so up in arms about this. What I do understand is how hyper-nationalism can be used against the nation.

      If this bill had been floated in Washington before the tragedy on September 11, half of the nation, especially people who frequent /., would have been screaming bloody murder. There are a number of articles within the bill which probably take a step or two over our supposed civil liberties. This, along with Feingold's anticipated future plans, are reason enough for him to vote against it.

      I have heard talk that suggests we may all be seeing Feingold in a bid for the Presidency sometime in the next decade. If those are indeed his plans, anticipate how great it will look in 2007 and 2008 when the public has recovered from the shock of the attack and Our Savior Russ Feingold was the one who tried to protect us from it in the first place.

      On the other hand, maybe he's just a good guy who stands up for what he feels are the best interests of his constituents.

      Who knows. Either way, thanks for standing up for us Russ.
  • Commentary (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dragons_flight (515217) on Friday October 26, 2001 @12:11AM (#2481955) Homepage
    I tried submitting this story myself, but guess they didn't like my version, or he got it in first.

    Anyway, here's some commentary that I included with version I wrote:

    American Civil Liberties Union [aclu.org]
    Center for Democracy and Technology [cdt.org]
    Yahoo! News [yahoo.com]
  • by Alien54 (180860) on Friday October 26, 2001 @12:13AM (#2481961) Journal
    You can see the full list of provisions here [foxnews.com] on Fox News, at least the version that passed the House the other day

    There's a lot of them. heck.

    • Extends electronic surveillance periods to 120 days from 90 days and for searches to 90 days from 45 days.
    • Creates two new crimes prohibiting certain persons from possessing a listed biological agent or toxin and prohibiting all persons from possessing a biological agent, toxin or delivery system of a type or in a quantity that is not reasonably justified by a peaceful purpose
    • Limits delay of search warrants when this authority would result in flight or property seizure
    • Requires a court application to obtain student records
    • Grants authority to the president to restrict exports of agricultural products, medicine or medical devices to the Taliban or the territory of Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban
    • Increases to seven days the length of time an alien may be held before being charged with criminal or immigration violations
    • Defines terrorist activities but makes exceptions for people who have innocent contacts to non-certified terrorist organizations
    • Enhances the secretary of state's existing power to certify groups as terrorist organizations
    • Enhances data-sharing between the FBI and the State Department/INS and between the State Department and foreign governments
    • Clarifies CIA director's role to set overall strategy for collection of information through court?ordered FISA surveillance, but no operational authority
    • Increases CIA authority to investigate "international terrorist activities"
    • Encourages CIA to recruit informants to fight terrorism
    • Requires attorney general to develop guidelines for disclosing to the CIA foreign intelligence information obtained in criminal investigations
    • Requires the attorney general and CIA to provide training to federal, state and local government officials to identify foreign intelligence information
    • Sunsets electronic surveillance laws after two years with the authority for the president to renew in two more years
    • Limits the use of Foreign Intelligence Service Act court orders to investigations of international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities
    • Requires investigations of U.S. persons be based on more than just First Amendment activities.
    • Allows roving wiretap authority on electronic equipment, including cell phones
    • Allows pen registers/trap and trace on particular phone numbers but restricts content collection
    • Increases the number of FISA judges from seven to 11
    • Expedites the hiring of translators for the FBI
    • Allows seizure of voice mail messages
    • Does not allow the use of information collected on Americans by foreign governments when that information was collected in violation of the U.S. Constitution
    • Authorizes nationwide service of subpoenas for electronic subscriber information
    • Expands list of items subject to subpoena to include the means and source of payment for electronic subscriber information
    • Authorizes electronic communications service to disclose contents of and subscriber information in case of emergencies involving the immediate danger of death or serious physical injury
    • Allows sharing of grand jury and wiretap information for official law enforcement duties
    • Allows sharing grand jury and wiretap information that involves foreign intelligence and counterintelligence
    • Does not allow disclosure of tax return information by Treasury to federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies in responding to terrorist incidents
    • Triples the number of Border Patrol, Customs Service and INS inspectors at the northern border
    • Authorizes $100 million to improve INS and Customs technology and additional equipment for monitoring the northern border
    • Requires an integrated automated fingerprint identification system for points of entry and overseas consular posts
    • Authorizes a counter-terrorism fund to reimburse the Department of Justice for any costs related to investigating and prosecuting terrorism
    • Expedites disability and death payments to firefighters, law enforcement officers or emergency personnel involved in the prevention, investigation, rescue or recovery efforts related to any future terrorist attack
    • Increases benefits program payments to public safety officers
    • Coordinates secure information sharing among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute terrorist conspiracies and activities
    • Expands fraud and abuse laws to cover computers outside the U.S. used to affect interstate commerce or communications inside the U.S.
    • Replenishes the Justice Department's antiterrorism emergency reserve with up to $50 million; authorizes private gift-giving to the fund; allows service providers to use reserve fund to expedite assistance to victims of domestic terrorism
    • Creates a new criminal statute to punish for terrorist attacks and other acts of violence against mass transportation systems
    • Creates a list of offenses that will carry an eight-year statute of limitations for prosecution except where they resulted in, or created a risk of, death or serious bodily injury
    • Defines maximum penalties for terror-related activities where appropriate, including life imprisonment or supervision
    • Adds conspiracy provisions to some criminal statutes and provides that the penalties for such conspiracies may not include death
    • Adds certain terrorism-related crimes to RICO and money laundering rules
    I hope that everyone feels safer now
      • Requires a court application to obtain student records
      • Does not allow the use of information collected on Americans by foreign governments when that information was collected in violation of the U.S. Constitution
      • Does not allow disclosure of tax return information by Treasury to federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies in responding to terrorist incidents
      wow, this bill has three good provisions. I'm not a Libertarian party supporter, but guess which party I'll be biased towards in near future elections?
    • Look, this really isn't that bad. Thanks for the synopsis, Alien54, and the rest of you, read it first, then comment. A few of the stranger and nastier provisions are:

      • Triples the number of Border Patrol, Customs Service and INS inspectors at the northern border

      Didn't all the September 11th hijackers enter openly and legally? What's with "Blame Canada"?

      • Grants authority to the president to restrict exports of agricultural products, medicine or medical devices to the Taliban or the territory of Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban

      Business as usual. The US people are the best and kindest in the world. The US government are stone cold evil murdering motherfuckers. It's a shame that so many of the people had to suffer for that. :(

    • Defines terrorist activities but makes exceptions for people who have innocent contacts to non-certified terrorist organizations

      Hey, all you terrorists out there. All you need to do is to create a non-certified terrorist organisation and get an innocent contact with it (like an agreement to supply coffee), then you can do what you like and it isn't a terrorist activity.

  • You can kiss your freedoms goodbye... but be careful, because THEY might see you.
  • by Shardis (198372)
    Looks like it's got a 4 year limit at least...

    This looks like the right text [loc.gov]...

    Or, for the link wary... http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c107:1:./tem p/~c107bhnj7n:e89010:
  • Gulf of Tonkin (Score:2, Insightful)

    by LionMan (18384)
    Why is it that this bill makes me think of Johnson's Gulf of Tonkin Resolution?
    Why is it that Afhghanistan reminds me of Vietnam?
    Am I rightfully very, very scared?
  • What IS terrorism? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmv (93421) on Friday October 26, 2001 @01:28AM (#2482199) Homepage
    I wonder whether most people would agree with me or not. Unlike some people that say "this action should be considered terrorism", for me terrorism has nothing to do with the actions and everything to do with the intent.

    To me, if Mr. X puts a bomb in a plane to kill his wife, that's first degree murder (though not terrorism). However if Mr. Y does the same thing for a political cause, it is terrorism, although the action is exactly the same. The same way, for me a serial killer is not a terrorist, though I think none is "better" of "worse" than the other,
    Does that make any sense. Surely at some point it could be hard to determine the intent in a trial, but for me it's important to make the distinction. Otherwise you just end up with all crimes being labeled as "terrorism act" and the word doesn't mean anything anymore.
    • if Mr. X puts a bomb in a plane to kill his wife, that's first degree murder (though not terrorism).

      Consider your logic here: Mr. X bombs Pearl Harbor and kills thousands of people. That's mass murder but not war. The Japanese do the same thing for a political cause. Why don't we arrest the Japanese instead of declaring war?

      More explicitely, the acts of 9/11 were organized outside the United States and carried out by agents of an organization that is protected by a foreign government.

      If the methods of terrorists were conventional like the methods of murders, then changing the laws wouldn't be necessary. The terrorists methods -- their planning, communication, funding -- are designed to evade detection under current law. They are using current law and the restraint placed on police as part of their methods.

      The laws are being changed not just to aid the police but to ensure that the terrorists can be convicted once they are caught. Exactly like a conventional crime, the objective seems to be to bring the terrorists to trial and to ensure that the evidence presented at trial will not be dismissed because it was collected illegally.

      America does not seem to be able to think outside its Constitutional box. A more effective approach to catching terrorists would be to empower special police and have the terrorists tried before special courts, possibly secret, where the conventional rules of evidence and the right to be confronted by the accuser don't apply.

      However, the Constitution seems to be so imbeded in fabric of America that justice takes precedence over efficiency. Lawmaker are thinking "how will this law stand up in court" even as they are still burying the victims of 9/11.

      Ultimately, the terrorists, like any accused, will be tried by a jury based on evidence presented at trial. If they cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed to defend them.

  • The End. (Score:2, Funny)

    by ThatField (201302)
    The end of the world. Bin Laden won, thank you US senate for defending America.

    /dev
  • I get it.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Punto (100573) <puntob@NospAM.gmail.com> on Friday October 26, 2001 @01:33AM (#2482215) Homepage
    So the problem was that terrorism was NOT illegal.. now I get it.
  • Well, if you don't yet, maybe this will convince you.

    For what I feel is a cogent argument as to why everyone, even your mother, should use encryption, please read:

  • I'm just wondering...

    If and after we subdue the Taliban, wax Osama and clean out the major terrorist networks out there, do you think the US could eventually kill this new legislation because we wouldn't much need it anymore?

    (btw - I don't believe that there are unlimited numbers of potential Osama Bin Ladens out there. If there were, they'd be at his side right now.)
  • ... needs to be renamed "No Rights Online"

    ker-plunk

  • With all that they threw in, looks like they still forgot to make it illegal to fly an airplane into a skyscraper!

    And on the less bright side, the .sig is now true.


  • American slashdotter's should support his stand in defence of freedom, send him a email/letter, thanking him for is efforts.

    You could also suggesting some of the better ideas/arguments from around here. Let him know that his stand is appeciated.

  • by man_ls (248470)
    This is a relatively sad day for Americans who love the freedom that they usually take for granted. Lets hope (yeah, right) that Dubya doesn't sign it. Not that it would do much good, with 98-1 with 1 abstain passing it.
  • As discussed elsewhere, the incorporation of many violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the list of predicates for acts of federal terrorism now exposes many technologists to potential life sentences.

    But there are some even more invidious changes -- the rewrite of the civil remedies provisions to eliminate the requirement of $5,000 actual damages for CFAA violations in many cases. In recent cases, the $5,000 limit has been the only thing between a mere allegation of exceeding authority and a cause of action.

    Here's the typical scenario. Technology consultant does work for customer. Some difficulties arise between them, and they decide to go their separate ways. Technologist presents his final bills, customer stiffs him.

    In the old days, the time-and-materials technologist had a slam-dunk collection action. "Your honor, I gave him a bill for time and materials, and he didn't pay."

    Under the new regime, the deadbeat customer need only allege that a technologist's use of a customer computer exceeded authority, and there you are: a built-in criminal counterclaim for civil remedies. Because of the rewrite, one that is guaranteed to survive motions to dismiss and for summary judgment. One guaranteed to result in a settlement.

    Yeah, terrorism absolutely required a change to the civil remedies of the CFAA. NOT!

    Nor did it require the microsoft-friendly civil remedies exemption for negligent delivery of software resulting in hacking.

    Terrorism had nothing to do with this bill. Nothing. It was the excuse, not the reason, for passing a bill that, were the provisions measured in the light of a different day, would never have stood a chance. This bill will not reduce terrorism, only liberty.

    Indeed, upon passage of this bill, the terrorists finally won. Congratulations, America! Our representatives have finally done what bin Laden could not do: they have made us less free.
  • by inicom (81356)
    I posted this story a last friday and it was rejected, despite links to EFF [eff.org], CPSR [cpsr.org], EPIC [epic.org], FAIR [fair.org], and FAS [fas.org], organizations seeking to safeguard civil liberties which "timothy" and "Saratoga C++" are apparently not familiar with. Along with links to the House and Senate so people could look up the bills themselves. It too late now for slashdot'rs to do much - Bush will sign it in to law today I'm sure.

    I guess it was far more important to discuss MSN, MP3s, ATI and the like rather than THE LOSS OF CIVIL LIBERTIES AND UNIVERSAL MONITORING OF NETWORK TRAFFIC. Good Job Slashdot! Toys are much more important than life, right?

It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level language named "research student".

Working...