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Part Of The Patriot Act Shot Down 618

Posted by timothy
from the checks-and-balances dept.
jtwJGuevara writes "In a victory today for the ACLU, (and many Slashdotters I presume) the section of the Patriot Act which gives power to the FBI to demand confidential financial records from companies as part of terrorist investigations has been ruled unconstitutional by a U.S. District Judge. Victor Marreo, the District Judge who made this ruling, states that the provision of the Patriot Act in question 'effectively bars or substantially deters any judicial challenge.'"
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Part Of The Patriot Act Shot Down

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  • Missed something... (Score:5, Informative)

    by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @03:44PM (#10387668)
    It should be pointed out that the FBI can still demand confidential financial records without this provision of the "Patriot" Act. Basically, without this provision the FBI just needs to provide a reason WHY to a judge to get similar access to the same records. (Previously, it was all hush-hush.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @03:44PM (#10387676)
    Higher courts, including the supreme court, have the ability to overturn this decision but until that happens this decision is the opinion of the U.S. court system and has the full force of law.
  • by stinkfoot (21610) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @03:44PM (#10387677) Homepage

    ACLU's site is getting hammered; the decision has also been posted on EFF's site:

    http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Surveillance/Terrorism/ PATRIOT/20040929_NSL_Decision.pdf [eff.org]

    (EFF's press release is here [eff.org].)

  • Say what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ShatteredDream (636520) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @03:45PM (#10387688) Homepage
    If you are a lawyer, then you should know that if this gets upheld on appeals and the SCOTUS refuses to hear the case, then it stands...
  • This means something (Score:5, Informative)

    by lothar97 (768215) * <owen AT smigelski DOT org> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @03:45PM (#10387691) Homepage Journal
    IAALT (I Am A Lawyer Too), and this judgement is binding in his federal court's jurisdiction. It might just be his part of district two (which I think covers NY), or it might be all of district two (which I think covers NY and some surrounding states). It is good law there, until either overruled by the Supremes, or made the Law of the Land by the Supremes.
  • by spinfire (148920) <dpn@isomerica.net> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @03:52PM (#10387769) Homepage
    Only within the appeals court's jurisdiction. For example, when the 9th Circuit Court rules that "Under God" is unconstitional, the precedent in that ruling only affects courts WITHIN the 9th circuit.

    The loser needs to appeal it to the supreme court for it to affect the entire US.

    This particular case only applies within the district court's jurisdiction. It hasn't been to an appeals court yet.
  • by apachetoolbox (456499) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @03:56PM (#10387814) Homepage
    Comparing the abortion issue and religious school vouchers program aren't even the same damn ball park.
  • by j1m+5n0w (749199) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @04:00PM (#10387865) Homepage Journal
    New York - The American Civil Liberties Union won a tremendous victory for Internet privacy today in the case of ACLU & Doe v. Ashcroft, challenging the constitutionality of "National Security Letters" (NSLs) under the USA PATRIOT Act. The letters, issued directly by the Department of Justice without any court oversight, can be used to demand sensitive financial and communications information about citizens even if they are not suspected of any crime. When Internet Service Providers receive such demands they are forbidden from revealing their existence to anyone.

    Wow, shorter and much more informative than the abcnews story. The wikipedia link for the patriot act is here [wikipedia.org].

    -jim

  • Re:Please remind me. (Score:3, Informative)

    by CyberZen (97536) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @04:06PM (#10387923) Homepage
    Russ Feingold, from Wisconsin. He was the only Senator who voted against it, anyway (not sure about the House).
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @04:06PM (#10387927)
    Russ Feingold. Wisconsin. The only one with enough balls in the whole Senate to vote against that hurtling turd.
  • Re:Please remind me. (Score:2, Informative)

    by JJahn (657100) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @04:07PM (#10387945)
    Russ Feingold.

    Sorry thats it (from either party). Way to go US Senate.
  • Voting records (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @04:08PM (#10387959)
    In the house that would be:

    Baldwin, Barrett, Blumenauer, Bonior, Boucher, Brown (OH),Capuano, Clayton, Conyers, Coyne, Cummings, Davis (IL), DeFazio, DeGette, Dingell, Farr, Filner, Frank, Hastings (FL), Hilliard, Honda, Jackson (IL), Jackson-Lee (TX), Johnson, E. B., Jones (OH), Kucinich, Lee, Lewis (GA), McDermott, McGovern, McKinney, Meek (FL), Miller, George, Mink, Mollohan, Nadler, Ney, Oberstar, Olver, Otter, Owens, Pastor, Paul, Payne, Peterson (MN), Rahall, Rivers, Rush, Sabo, Sanchez, Sanders, Schakowsky, Scott, Serrano, Stark, Thompson (MS), Tierney, Udall (CO), Udall (NM), Velazquez, Visclosky, Waters, Watson (CA), Watt (NC), Woolsey, and Wu

    and in the Senate: Feingold

    http://clerk.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.asp?year=200 1& rollnumber=398

    http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_ li sts/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=1& vote=00313
  • by lothar97 (768215) * <owen AT smigelski DOT org> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @04:13PM (#10388011) Homepage Journal
    terrorism n

    The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

    Source [reference.com]

    You'll note that there is no distinction between governments or civilians. One could argue that a rebellion (and yes, the Founding Fathers were British citizens at the time) is a form of terrorism, as is destruction of property like the Boston Tea Party and other attacks on forts & munitions before the Revolution was official.

  • But (Score:4, Informative)

    by GreenCrackBaby (203293) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @04:16PM (#10388052) Homepage
    It still is a precident that can be sighted in cases outside this district. It is hardly a meaningless ruling.
  • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @04:26PM (#10388167) Homepage
    I don't think this specific judgement is binding yet? The full version [yahoo.com] of the Reuters article linked in the slashblurb contains the line:

    In his ruling, Marrero prohibited the Department of Justice and the FBI from issuing the national security letters, but delayed enforcement of his judgment pending an expected appeal by the government. The Department of Justice said it was reviewing the ruling.
  • Re:Please remind me. (Score:2, Informative)

    by ihaddsl (772965) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @04:27PM (#10388177)
    Russ Feingold (D - WI) - the only senator to oppose the act (from either party)

    in the house, the picture was a bit different For HR 3162 (house version of patriot act), the votes were

    For : 211 Republicans, 145 Democrats, 1 Independent
    Against : 3 Republicans, 62 Democrats, 1 Independant
    clearly the Democrats were less enamored of the legislation than were republicans, although not in sufficient numbers

    But that's missing the point. The Dems do not (as a whole) want a Patriot II, the Republican leadership does.
  • Re:Please remind me. (Score:4, Informative)

    by peacefinder (469349) * <alan...dewitt@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @04:28PM (#10388189) Journal
    Please remind me of all the Dems that voted against the patriot act.

    See the House roll call vote here. [house.gov] Sixty-two Dems voted against it, as did one independent and three Republicans. Nine representatives did not vote; five GOP and 4 Dems.

    Ninety-six Senators [senate.gov] voted for it. Feingold (D-Wis) was the lone dissenter. Domenici, Helms, and Thurmond (GOP) did not vote. Note also that the three previous roll call votes were on motions tabling amendments that Feingold had offered to soften the UPA.

    About 29% of Democrats in the House voted against it, while about 1% of the Republicans did the same. But when it comes to the UPA, there's plenty of blame to spread around. (Including my own rep, alas. It's a pity the guy running against her is scarier still.)
  • Re:good idea! (Score:3, Informative)

    by gcaseye6677 (694805) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @04:45PM (#10388437)
    Not a bad idea, as it would certainly get rid of some of the old crazy laws that nobody has gotten around to removing. But I would hate to think of what would happen if there were some mistake and the laws against murder fell through the cracks and expired.
  • Re:Supreme Court (Score:3, Informative)

    by Peyna (14792) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @04:45PM (#10388438) Homepage
    oh, to pick a random example, attempting to pass a law restricting the powers of the Supreme Court.

    The Constitution clearly vests power in the Supreme Court and gives it certain limits. It would be impossible (IMHO) to limit or change the Supreme Courts powers or jurisdiction without a constitutional amendment.

    As for the rest of the federal courts, Congress clearly is given the power to do whatever they please with them.

    The good news, this law will never get passed in the Senate, and will die a lonely death. It never even made out of committee last year (in almost identical form). The only reason it made it to the floor and passed was in order to turn people running for re-election into cannon fodder, i.e. "This candidate voted against PROTECTING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, vote for me instead." Thus, many people in Congress voted for the bill to avoid such embarassment (no matter how wrong it actually is.) They also voted for it, knowing that it would never actually become law.

    It's sad that such tactics are used solely for politically gain, with no respect at all for the Constitution.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @04:50PM (#10388498)
    That will be all.
  • you know nothing (Score:5, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:03PM (#10388636) Homepage Journal
    You were just as stupid yesterday, when you were an astrophysicist [slashdot.org].
  • by bckrispi (725257) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:07PM (#10388670)
    I'm sure there are judges out there who hand out court orders like cracker jack prizes

    By "court order", I assume you are referring to search warrants. Yes, it is *very* easy for a cop to get one. However, in order for a warrant to be valid, the burden of probable cause must be met. The kind of "gung-ho, every warrant gets signed" judge you are referring to is the kind that defense attorneys love. During criminal proceedings, a defendant has the right to challenge the legality of any warrant issued against him. If there wasn't sufficient probable cause to issue the warrant,or if the cop oversteps the power that the warrant provides, it becomes invalid. That means that any evidence gathered under that warrant is inadmissable - it is the Fruit of the Poisoned tree. Entire cases have been thrown out because of sloppy search warrants. Look at what happened to R. Kelly in Florida.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:07PM (#10388675)
    Micheal Moore can put out a movie tearing into the President, and Rush Limbaugh can tear into powerful govenment officials on his show, and its ok.

    So in other words if you're rich and or famous its ok, its you and I that can be snatched off the street and never missed that have to watch what we say.

    As for being hunted down by Ashcroft, he's not above doing the hunting [chron.com]. So tell me, are the people who leaked the government's incompetence to the press terrorists? Doesn't Ashcroft have something more important he should be doing?
  • by TykeClone (668449) <TykeClone@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:18PM (#10388752) Homepage Journal
    I work at a bank and you're right.
  • Re:Question. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Fareq (688769) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:19PM (#10388766)

    Precisely

    What it comes down to is this: after 9/11 the government realized that if it waited for people to do something wrong before neutralizing them, it'd be too late.

    Simple solution! Give the government sweeping powers to secretly spy on people, and eliminate those that look threatening...

    Alas, but that does give the terrorists precisely what they want -- a complete desctruction of our free society.

    Fortunately, a judge somewhere saw that and chose to act in a small way to prevent that.

    Now, just like before 9/11, the government has to demonstrate a high degree of probability that someone has actually broken the law before they can act to destroy them -- at least in this respect

  • by Artagel (114272) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:27PM (#10388847) Homepage
    Here is the opinion. [uscourts.gov]
  • Re:good idea! (Score:4, Informative)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:33PM (#10388894) Journal
    The term you're looking for is "sunset provision". A lot of laws have one. Of course, IMHO, there should be a constitutional amendment that mandates that -all- federal laws have one, but maybe that's just me.

    As for laws against murder, one could reasonably design that amendment in such a way that makes an exemption for certain explicitly-listed laws. Such an amendment should also prescribe a set time frame in whcih all laws must be updated to include a sunset provision and should limit the maximum duration of that period to no more than... say ten years. This would forcibly reduce the number of federal laws significantly, which would be a very good thing. 90% of laws amount to "this other law is hereby altered such that it doesn't apply in cases of foo". Those laws should not exist. They should be part of an amended form of the original law. That's a big part of why our legal system is such an utter mess....

  • by TitanBL (637189) <brandon@tCOWitan ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:52PM (#10389021)
    Here [uscourts.gov] is Judge Victor Marreo's Opinion/Order. Interesting read. It seems there needs to be some additional clarification added to the Patriot Act limiting its reach to matters of national security.
    "Absent the secrecy provisions of the 2709(c), however, there is no vehicle in the statute to preserve a more norrowly-tailored degree of secrecy necessary to effectuate the important purposes of the statute consistent with First Amendment values."
    It is important to note that they judge stayed his order for 90 days to give time for an appeal - seems this one is just going to be quickly passed along to the Supreme Court.

    I am conservative when it comes to economic and defense issues, and liberal with regards to social issues. A conservative libertain? I dont know... Anyways, that being said, Ashcroft makes me very uncomfortable. Everyone, whether they realize/admit it or not, has philosophical presuppositions from which they derive their ideas (ideology) concering morality, law, etc. I guess one could view the Constitution as our government's philisophical presupposition. I find myself having little confidence that Ashcroft sees/respects the division between his own ideology and that of the Constitution. Accurate or not, I for some reason I get the feeling that he wants to punish all the 'sinners', and have the rest praying on rice. There is no real evidence I can find to support this, but still, its just not the kind of 'vibes' I like to get from the Attorney General.

  • by kcurtis (311610) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:53PM (#10389032)
    Link Here [washingtonpost.com] - interesting read.
  • Hmmn... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Cybertect (85900) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @06:50PM (#10389526) Homepage
    And who do you think put those people in power in the first place?

    The CIA (together with the British Secret Service) engineered a coup in Iran in 1953 to put the Shah in power after the elected leader Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, was planning to nationalise oil interests.

    http://www.payk.net/politics/cia-docs/main.html

    And who do you think put those people in power and kept them there in the first place?

    Leaving aside the thorny issue of solid US support for Israel over the last fifty years...

    In 1949, the CIA engineered a military coup to oust Syria's elected leader, President Shukri Quwatli.

    In 1953 (together with the British Secret Service) the CIA sponsored a coup in to put the Shah in power after the elected leader Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, had nationalised western oil interests. Happily, oil production was returned to their rightful owners once the Shah was in control.

    (as an interesting aside, 'Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf's father was stationed in Iran as a CIA operative during this period)

    http://www.payk.net/politics/cia-docs/main.html

    Of course, we all know what happened to Iran after the people voiced their opinion on his repressive regime.

    Again, the CIA has a track record of interfering in Iraq through the 1950s and 1960s - backing a coup in 1963 that overthrew the left-leaning Gen. Abdel-Karim Kassem in favour of the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein. When things didn't go quite as intended, they backed a palace coup in 1968 in which Saddam Hussein's cousin became president, eventually passing on power to Hussein in 1979.

    It's well known that the US wasn't averse to helping out Saddam Hussein in his war with Iran throughout the 1980s.

    Jordan's King Hussein rewarded with millions of dollars every year from a secret CIA fund for a period of 20 years from the 1950s onward in return for intelligence reports of the Middle East.

    In August 1982, Bashir Gemayel (on both the CIA and Mossad payrolls since studying in the US in the seventies) was elected president of Lebanon with a covert payment of $10 million signed off by Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, he was assassinated in September, but his brother Amin was sworn in as President. The Gemayel's Christian Phalangist malitia were responsible for the Sabra and Shatila massacres, by the way.

    The US isn't alone in this. The British were meddling in the Middle East for most of the first half of the 20th century. Much of the region was a British Protectorate after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire following the First World War, when the Turks were allies of Germany. Winston Churchill is infamous for his ordering of the RAF to drop chemical munitions on Iraqi villages during insurrections against British-backed rule in the 1920s.

    Returning to Saudi Arabia, the British were instrumental in assisting the House of Saud in a revolt against the Ottomans in 1902, and after a protracted civil war where they helped the al Sauds, were the first to recognise the expanded state of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932.

    While the Al Sauds had gained power with British help, the Kingdom was poor, with very little infrastructure to speak of; until the discovery of oil by a joint operation between Texaco and Standard Oil of California (SOCAL-later renamed Chevron) in 1936. The oil companies built the basic infrastructure of a modern state, and to defend their installations, brought the US military in, establishing the base in Dharan in 1944, when commercial exploitation of the oil resources began in earnest.

    The House of Saud is still in firm control of the country to this day, with American weapons and British military training. Their track record on human rights isn't particularly good.

    Your point that 'No Arabian pledged allegiance to the United States' is particularly pertinent in this context - it might seem that many of the leaders of Arab nations have done precisely that on behalf of their citizens, often in
  • savage weighs in (Score:2, Informative)

    by a984 (637812) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @07:02PM (#10389620)
    Savage just called it huge victory for ACLU scum and I'll not repeat what he called the hispanic judge who issued the opinion. Technical data on the judge can be seen here [216.239.39.104].

    Nothing out of ordinary. Started at 17 as assistant to the mayor, New York City. Clinton appointee.
  • Re:Please remind me. (Score:3, Informative)

    by peacefinder (469349) * <alan...dewitt@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @07:17PM (#10389723) Journal
    Large portions of the patriot act were written by people that had a D beside their name.

    Well, according to this, [fact-index.com] "Assistant attorney general, Viet D. Dinh, was the chief architect of the act." While he might count, I think you intended to imply party affiliation, not middle initial. :-)

    The bill was introduced first in the House. The sponsor [loc.gov] was Sensenbrenner, and the only cosponsor Oxley, both Republicans. Note that this 342 page bill was introduced on 10/23/2001, and passed by the House at 11:03 AM the next day.

    It was received in the Senate that same day (the 24th) and passed without amendment the next day. I listed the wrong roll-call vote in another post... the UPA passed 98-1 [senate.gov] with Feingold (D-WI) dissenting and Landrieu (D-LA) not voting. (Note that the Senate office building was attacked by anthrax on 10/15/2001, only 10 days before this vote.)

    It was signed the next day, 10/26/2001, by the President and became law.

    It seems to me that, although the list of Senatorial co-sponsors included many Democrats, none of the Senatorial co-sponsors appear to have had any effect whatsoever on the language of the bill. The House sponsor and cosponsor, neither of which are Democrats, are presumably the ones ultimately responsible for the bill's language.

    So... which guys with a "D" next to their name helped write it, exactly? As I see it, most of Congress didn't have time to read it, let alone help write it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @09:00PM (#10390399)
    Patriot Act used to shut down a strip club bribery scheme:

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3540572/ [msn.com]
  • by Ryan Stortz (598060) <ryan0rz@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @09:46PM (#10390671)
    I believe it was used on The Stargate SG1 Information Arvhice [sg1archive.com], but the problem was...the guy was under investigation for a few years. He was offered 20MB versions of the show (low quality, but it was still the show) and he got C&D'd from MGM and the MPAA. He took down the links, but from what I'm told he was still putting them up under a predictable naming scheme.

    Sure, it was wrong to use the Patriot act (or maybe it was the DMCA), but he was going to get caught anyway.
  • by bnenning (58349) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @11:07PM (#10391121)
    When Giuliani replaces Ashcroft in Bush Jr Part II, he'll be smart enough to pass a Patriot Act that won't get overturned, despite its fascist mechanics. Or you can vote for Kerry in November.

    Right, I remember Kerry's heroic opposition to the Patriot Act...oh wait. Kerry has a horrible record [reason.com] on civil liberties. He supported the Clipper Chip and encryption bans (opposed by Ashcroft, of all people), thinks asset forfeiture is a great idea, and is enthusiastic about banks spying on their customers. My favorite line is this:
    "John Kerry stands by his vote for the Patriot Act," says a March 11 campaign statement. "You can sum up the problems with the Patriot Act in two words: John Ashcroft... The real problem with the Patriot Act is not the law, but the abuse of the law."
    So yes, the Patriot Act gives unreasonable and easily abused powers to the government, but *he* wouldn't *dream* of abusing them like those meanie Republicans. I hear he also has several bridges available for purchase.

    If you care strongly about civil liberties, you're pretty much down to the Libertarian or Green party, depending on your economic views. I'm firmly capitalist but I can't support the LP because of several of their other nutty positions, so I'm still not sure what I'll do. I may just leave the Presidential section blank as a form of "none of the above".
  • by TitanBL (637189) <brandon@tCOWitan ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @11:45PM (#10391341)
    "Neither. Search for "Patriot Act" on news.google.com and you would find it on reputable media websites like NYTimes, Reuters etc. So seriously, be knowledgeable of what you speak or be silent."

    I was aware of this draft legislation supposedly 'leaked' a while back, but my point is that it does not contain anything that 'erodes' our constitutional protections.

    Here. [kansascity.com]
    In a draft of the House GOP legislation obtained by The Associated Press, many of the provisions were similar to the draft copy of the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003" that a nonprofit group said had leaked out of the Justice Department in January 2003.

    The Justice Department said then that they had made no final decision on the legislation, and never submitted it to Congress.

    But many of the anti-terrorism provisions of that draft show up in the the House discussion draft section on terrorism prevention and prosecution that part of the proposed House legislation.

    Among the provisions are measures on the deportation of aliens who become members of or help terrorist groups, required pretrial detention for terrorism suspects, warrants against non-citizens even when a target can't be tied directly to a foreign power, and enhanced penalties for threats or attempts to use chemical or nuclear weapons against the United States, including attacks through the mail system.

    and

    Here [sfgate.com]The draft obtained by the AP shows House Republicans want increased border security and customs agents and crackdowns on illegal immigration, including fines of up to $10,000 and possible prison time for illegal immigrants, and penalties for states who don't allow their local law enforcement agents to help with immigration enforcement.

    You said:

    Now, the Republican party is getting ready with "Patriot Act II" in response to the findings of the Sept 11 commission, but in stark contrast to what's required, has granted far greater power and reach to the security agencies while dramatically eroding constitutional protections and providing a fraction of added security.


    Explain to me how, Increasing border security to crackdowns on illegal immigration, imposing fines of up to $10,000 and possible prison time for illegal immigrants, required pretrial detention for terrorism suspects (no bail for individuals charged with terrorism), warrants against non-citizens even when a target can't be tied directly to a foreign power, and enhanced penalties for threats or attempts to use chemical or nuclear weapons against the United States, including attacks through the mail system erodes our constitutional protections. I see the Mexico-US border as one of the, if not the, biggest threats to our security.

    "And as far as radical islamic terrorists, this play has just begun, its Act 1. Also they dont want you to bow to Islam, most of them just want the US to leave them the fuck alone."

    They just want us to leave them alone? You are kidding right? Listen, what drove the terrorists to blow up the WTC is the realization that their warped fundamentalist religious culture is being replaced in the name of progress. For instance, the fundamental Saudi religious leader who sees his grandson watching Baywatch, and his granddaughter starting to get thoughts in her head that she should be treated like a human being, given freedom and an education. They oppose the concepts of freedom of religion, equality of men and women, freedom of speech, etc. They see these ideas which oppose their radical religious views starting to influence their culture and declare a "holy war" against western culture "the great satan". Now who is the leader of the poster child of this 'western evil'? The USA.

    "To

  • by Alsee (515537) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @01:56AM (#10391840) Homepage
    Sorry, going to have to call 'bullshit' on you here. Show me an example of how the Patrioit Act has been misused to "go after garden variety" criminals in your community, or for that matter anywhere. Sounds like left wing wacko drivel to me.

    This Google search [google.com] turns up some 150-odd links, but to narrow it down to one good referrence the AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION [ala.org] cites:

    The government is using its expanded authority under the far-reaching law to investigate suspected drug traffickers, white-collar criminals, blackmailers, child pornographers, money launderers, spies, and even corrupt foreign leaders, federal officials said. [emphasis mine]

    So, is the American Library Association "left wing wacko drivel"?? Your claim of 'bullshit' has been called.

    Just because somethign sounds like "left wing wacko drivel" does not make it false. The people working in law enforcement are generally good and well intentioned people trying to to the right thing and get the bad guys and simply using the tools at their disposal. The patriot act granted law enforcement absolutely unprecidented sweeping new powers, and those poweres were hastilly granted post 9/11. Numerous legislators have come out and publicly complained that they were never given a chance to read the damn bill, much less give it reasoned deliberation and debate. These legislators were told that the bill they were voting for was needed to deal with the terrorist threat, and that it only applied to terrorism, when in fact the text of most provisions were not in fact restricted to terrorism. Furthermore note that these provisions are used against suspects. By definition that means that in many cases it is in fact used against innocent people suspected of ordinary crime for one reason or another.

    Dealing first hand with implications?

    As he says, he works in academic library that's also a federal depository. The Patiriot act specifically says that LIBRARIANS ARE TO BE IMPRISONED if they reveal how the Patriot act has been used. He is already treading on thin ice by so much as admiting he has any first hand knowledge of Patriot act usage at all.

    Further note that we are discussing a law that has already had one or more provisions ruled unconstitutional, with numerous other sections also under constitutional challenge. We are talking about a bill that was rushed through and is known to contain flaws.

    -
  • by roddymclachlan (169065) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @07:23AM (#10393030)
    I will tell you what scares me, and it is not arbitrary imprisonment (I figure that is so unconstitutional that they won't dare do that one again without at a minimum Congressional authorization or better yet a full suspension of Habeus but if that happens, we might as well leave the country).

    Actually, arbitrary imprisonment is now simple and convenient - you just need to be declared a "material witness":

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