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United States Your Rights Online

Congress Expands FBI Powers 954

Posted by simoniker
from the expansion-of-patriotism dept.
Dave writes "Well, since the Patriot Act II never got off the ground, looks like Congress has done the Justice Department a favor, according to Wired News, and added in some of the most controversial provisions into a non-descript intelligence spending bill. Now the FBI can subpoena information about you from practically any business or organization - without approval or permission from a judge, and with a gag order on the targeted organization. These spending bills are generally considered confidential and usually are not subject to public debate, so despite the far-reaching implications of these new powers, it's not being publicized like the Patriot Act was. Time to get out my patriotic hat and pin before it's too late."
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Congress Expands FBI Powers

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  • Whigs (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 24, 2003 @04:46PM (#7550495)
    The Whigs were a political party.
  • by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@pitabre ... g ['s.o' in gap]> on Monday November 24, 2003 @04:49PM (#7550542) Homepage
    Try your senator for one: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/ senators_cfm.cfm And your house reps: http://www.house.gov/Welcome.html They're the ones who really need to know your feelings on this.
  • by elmegil (12001) on Monday November 24, 2003 @04:51PM (#7550568) Homepage Journal
    Been said before, but bears repeating: EVERY time I have written my senator to say "don't do this stupid thing" I get back a form letter saying "this stupid thing is the right thing and I'm glad I stood up for it". Enough of that and you either stop caring or go postal.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 24, 2003 @04:51PM (#7550578)
    Impeach [votetoimpeach.org]
    the Liars [whitehouse.org]

    Very patriotically yours,
    Kilgore Trout
  • by pr0t0plasm (183810) <pr0t0plasm@lu c k y m u d .org> on Monday November 24, 2003 @04:52PM (#7550594) Homepage
    i) Write a physical letter to all of your representitives in congress to berate/laud them (as appropriate) for their votes on this bill.
    ii) Join the ACLU.
    iii) Convince your employer to destroy all non-essential records of employee or customer transactions.
    iv) vote, and convince all of your friends to vote, in the next federal election cycle.
    v) If all else fails, vote with your feet. Canada is close by.
  • Timely (Score:5, Informative)

    by 4of12 (97621) on Monday November 24, 2003 @04:56PM (#7550647) Homepage Journal

    Given this recent revelation [smh.com.au], I'm sure everyone is ready to trust the FBI with greater power and lesser accountability:)

    It's really a shame though. I know a lot of the people working there are quite professional and care about doing a good job and protecting the Constitution of the United States, the ideals that make America a good place.

    But after the legacy of Hoover misusing the agency many decades ago, evidently missing the boat on predicting the 9/11 catastrophe, the last thing they need is this kind of power handed to them by higher ups. Those superiors are political appointees with a vision for enforcement that shares more with authoritarian states than with the principles America was founded upon.

    If I was a mid-level bureaucrat in the FBI, I'd make efforts to establish accountability policies, citizen review boards, etc. even if the current administration doesn't think they're necessary.

    If they don't this, then they can be assured of getting tarred and feather during Congressional hearings 5-10 years from now, much like what happened to the CIA in the late 1970's.

  • by GMontag (42283) <gmontag@guymo[ ]g.com ['nta' in gap]> on Monday November 24, 2003 @04:57PM (#7550656) Homepage Journal
    Well, having not read any more of the article than you, I can say that the ONLY member of the Administration who has a vote in the Congress only gets to vote in Senate ties.

    Now, having glanced through the article, there is not even a show of the vote. Are you going to tell me that every member of the Congress who voted for this is in a conspiracy with the Executive Branch?

  • by Sarcasmooo! (267601) on Monday November 24, 2003 @05:11PM (#7550833)
    It was less than 50%, but it gets lower every election year so we'll reach 30% soon enough I'm sure. Although the more pessimistic among us might argue that even when it devolves into a debate between Dave Johnson and John Davidson over the positive aspects of good things and the negative aspects of bad things, they'll still be able to fool at least half of us into voting.

    (Just FYI: While a little less than 50% voted, it only took 17% of eligible voters to actually elect the President)
  • Re:Very nice. (Score:2, Informative)

    by pmz (462998) on Monday November 24, 2003 @05:12PM (#7550844) Homepage
    This shit has been predicted for over 50 years, now!

    No, make that 228 years (Declaration of Independence). No, wait, make that 2000 years (?, well, whenever Bhudda was around). I'm sure it goes back even further, too.
  • by MindStalker (22827) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (reklatsdnim)> on Monday November 24, 2003 @05:16PM (#7550901) Journal
    They are anti-abortion. (oh wait, btw that bill was directly modeled after the Nebraska law which was struck down, pandering assholes)

    Just wanted to note that it was directy modeled on it, and then directly addressed the problems that the supreme court said were problems.
  • by JPelorat (5320) on Monday November 24, 2003 @05:29PM (#7551060)
    Heheh. Why not just link to democraticunderground.com and be done with it? Why stop at just slightly psychotic ravings when you can have the real thing?

    I suppose the Smurfs and Dr. Evil also figure in somehow to this vast cauldron of deception and subversion too, eh? I mean, if they can hide such a large operation for that long, they can surely integrate fictional evil scientists and blue midgets too, right?

    Hee.
  • by amliebsch (724858) on Monday November 24, 2003 @05:33PM (#7551120) Journal
    There will always be a two-party system because we have essentially a first-past-the-post election system. The result is that on political dimensions people care about the most, both parties will try to appeal to the median voter. Since the only way to capture the median voter is by appealing to the largest pool of voters, it provides a strong incentive toward moderation. This does not seem to be such a terrible way to run a democracy.
  • by cpeterso (19082) on Monday November 24, 2003 @05:34PM (#7551146) Homepage

    Plus New Hampshire is the new home of the libertarian Free State Project.
  • Re:More? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Saint Mitchell (144618) on Monday November 24, 2003 @05:35PM (#7551151)
    But they are. If you are anti-war, anti-bush, anti-do-what-the-hell-we-say-or-we'll-bash-your-he ad-in-you-hippie-scum then you stand a good chance of being harrassed for just holding a sign.

    Think I'm kidding? It happened [pmachinehosting.com] in the southern part of my state. Indiana is very very very right wing, so this doesn't surprise me. I had to move to Indy to get away from the bible beating do-as-we-say-or-go-to-hell crowd.
    yeah, I like hyphens, they're fun.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 24, 2003 @05:41PM (#7551266)
    Do you mean besides the administration using the Department of Homeland Security to track down the Democratic Texas State Senators?

    And besides all of the individuals that have been kept in prison without a trial since 9/11?

    I'd say that the number of violations of private citizen's rights is quite a bit higher than zero.
  • Not True - Kucinich (Score:2, Informative)

    by Groovus (537954) on Monday November 24, 2003 @06:17PM (#7551770)
    There is at least one Demo candidate who has revoking the PATRIOT act as a part of his platform - he's also got some good ideas about other problems in the U.S. Check it out:

    http://www.kucinich.us/issues/patriot_act.php [kucinich.us]

  • First and foremost (Score:2, Informative)

    by Groovus (537954) on Monday November 24, 2003 @06:27PM (#7551887)
    Talk to everyone you know, everyone who'll listen and inform them of what's going on. That is the absolute best thing you can do. If everyone on this site would do that the message would certainly reach a large number of people quickly. Be accurate, be concise, be calm - keep it strictly to the facts, no preaching - and most importantly keep it simple at first.

    I had a conversation about this several months ago with my father, aunt, uncle and some others. These are not stupid people by any stretch, but they could not believe what I was telling them in regards to these sorts of things. They were uninformed on this topic. I simply forwarded them links to text and analysis of the PATRIOT act, DMCA and a few other gems. Next time I talked to them they all agreed that it was bad news, really bad news. It definitely has given a new view of our current government.

    Put the information out there and get people to see it - that's the kind of thing that will result in change. And it's something you can do yourself on a person by person basis.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 24, 2003 @06:36PM (#7552008)
    www.EscapeArtist.com [escapeartist.com] has all the info you need to learn how to expatriate from America to any place in the world.
  • by bankman (136859) on Monday November 24, 2003 @07:49PM (#7552666) Homepage
    From the Jewish Virtual Library [us-israel.org] :

    "Martin Niemoeller was a Protestant pastor born January 14, 1892, in Lippstadt, Westphalia. He was a submarine commander in World War I. He was anti-communist and initially supported the Nazis until the church was made subordinate to state authority.

    In 1934, he started the Pastors' Emergency League to defend the church. Hitler became angered by Niemoeller's rebellious sermons and popularity and had him arrested on July 1, 1937. He was tried the following year and sentenced to seven months in prison and fined.

    After his release, Hitler ordered him arrested again. he spent the next seven years in concentration camps in "protective custody." He was liberated in 1945 and was elected President of the Protestant church in Hesse and Nassau in 1947. He held the title until 1964. He was also a President of the World Council of Churches in the 1960's.

    Niemoeller was a pacifist who spoke out against nuclear weapons. He is best known for his powerful statement about the failure of Germans to speak out against the Nazis:

    "First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me."

    He died in Wiesbaden on March 6, 1984. "

  • by jgd (24522) on Monday November 24, 2003 @10:01PM (#7553741)

    Since it took me more than a few minutes to find the part of the bill everyone's excited about, here's a pointer:

    1. H.R. 2417 Summary and Status [loc.gov]
    2. Conference Report [house.gov]

    In the Conference Report, the change to the definition of financial institution is in Title III, Subtitle E (Sec. 374), which begins on page 76 of the PDF. The explanatory statement for that Section begins on page 112 of the PDF.

    The Section in question is really just a reference to another Section of United States Code. On top of that, the PDF of this report is not searchable (it's a scanned image). Do we have an award for Information Obfuscation in Government? Why can't we at least have these reports in hypertext, with live links to the referenced laws?

  • by ReaperOfSouls (523060) on Monday November 24, 2003 @10:52PM (#7554188) Homepage
    Facsism and Socialism are not mutually exclusive.

    From Merriam-Webster:
    any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

    Nazism is commonly refered to as National Socialism. By definition, the take over of private sector economies and services is socialism, whether it is done by force, democratic process or defacto part of the societal construct.

    More to the point socialism is more of a economic construct then an authority construct. Socialism can and does flurish under different authority constructs, as does capitolism.

    Mostly pure capitalism + Democratic Repulic :
    The form of government around in the US/UK during the industrial revolution prior to labor movments. Business was king, sweat shops were common, an curruption was common place.

    Socialism + Authoritarian Rule (Single dictator/Ruling elite):
    Nazi Germany/Facsist Italy(circa late 1930s thru mid 1940s)/Most brands of Communism

    Capitalism + Authoritarian Rule (usually ruling elite):
    Most modern theocracies and true monarchies (UK doesn't count since its monarchy is only a state head and does not rule the UK).

    Socialism/Capitalism mix + Democratic Republic:
    Most western forms of government. Most are much more Socialist then say the US, but it is a sccialist society, no matter what the republicans say..:-)

    Most disagreements over what socialism is, comes from a disageement about the side entrees that could come with socialism. There are more then just democraic vs authoritarian, and my catagorizations are prolly not 100% correct, but they make the point.

    In general, socialism/capitolism mix and Democratic Republics work really well together since they can protect the public at large from the psudo ruling elite that is created by from capitalsim, but provide enough insentive for people to be productive members of socities.
  • by the_1000th_Monkey (191263) on Tuesday November 25, 2003 @12:17AM (#7554834) Homepage
    If I'm getting this right, the bill is H.R.2417 and the text of it can be found here [congress.gov] along with the ammendments. And even though the Senate disguised who passed it with a voice vote, the House did it the transparently democratic way and the vote broken down beyond yeas and nays into partys and names can be found here [house.gov].
  • The DOJ lied. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25, 2003 @03:32AM (#7555783)
    There have been ZERO [fas.org] reports of civil liberties violations. Now move along. There is nothing to see HERE [aclu.org].

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