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  • Patriot Act has given FBI vast access to ordinary people's lives

    Patriot Act has given FBI vast access to ordinary people's lives
    By Barton Gellman
    THE WASHINGTON POST
    11/06/2005

    WASHINGTON

    The FBI came calling in Windsor, Conn., this summer with a document marked for delivery by hand. On Matianuk Avenue, two special agents found their man. They gave George Christian the letter, which warned him to tell no one, ever, what it said.

    The letter directed Christian to surrender "all subscriber information, billing information and access logs of any person" who used a specific computer at a library branch some distance away. Christian, who manages digital records for three dozen Connecticut libraries, said in an affidavit that he sets up his system for privacy. But the vendors of the software he operates said their databases can reveal the Web sites that visitors browse, the e-mail accounts they open and the books they borrow.

    Christian refused to hand over those records, and his employer, Library Connection Inc., filed suit for the right to protest the FBI demand in public.

    The Connecticut case affords a rare glimpse of an exponentially growing practice of domestic surveillance under the USA Patriot Act, which marked its fourth anniversary on Oct. 26. "National security letters," created in the 1970s for espionage and terrorism investigations, originated as narrow exceptions in consumer privacy law, allowing the FBI to review in secret the customer records of suspected foreign agents.

    The Patriot Act, and Bush administration guidelines for its use, transformed those letters by permitting clandestine scrutiny of U.S. residents and visitors who are not alleged to be terrorists or spies.

    The FBI now issues more than 30,000 national security letters a year, according to government sources. The letters - one of which can be used to sweep up the records of many people - are extending the bureau's reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans.

    Issued by FBI field supervisors, national security letters do not need the imprimatur of a prosecutor, grand jury or judge. They receive no review after the fact by the Justice Department or Congress. The executive branch maintains only statistics, which are incomplete and confined to classified reports. The Bush administration defeated legislation and a lawsuit to require a public accounting.

    The rising use of national security letters coincides with an unannounced decision to deposit all the information they yield into government data banks - and to share those private records widely, in the federal government and beyond.

    In late 2003, the Bush administration reversed a long-standing policy requiring agents to destroy their files on innocent American citizens, companies and residents when investigations closed. Late last month, Bush signed Executive Order 13388, expanding access to those files for "state, local and tribal" governments and for "appropriate private sector entities," which are not defined.

    Senior FBI officials acknowledged in interviews that the proliferation of national security letters results primarily from the bureau's new authority to collect intimate facts about people who are not suspected of any wrongdoing. Criticized for failure to detect the Sept. 11 plot, the bureau now casts a much wider net, using national security letters to generate leads as well as to pursue them. Casual or unwitting contact with a suspect - a single telephone call, for example - may attract the attention of investigators and subject a person to scrutiny about which he never learns.

    As it wrote the Patriot Act four years ago, Congress bought time and leverage for oversight by placing an expiration date on 16 provisions. The changes involving national security letters were not among them.

    In fact, as the Dec. 31 deadline approaches and Congress prepares to renew or make permanent the expiring provisions, House and Senate conferees are poised again to amplify the FBI's power to compel the secret production of private records.

    The House and Senate have voted to make noncompliance with a national security letter a criminal offense. The House would also impose a prison term for breach of secrecy.

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    Make America Great For Once.

  • #2
    The only thing you need now is a bunch of judges with a "conservative judicial philosophy" to sanction this nonsense.
    From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.

    For more than 20 years I have endeavored-indeed, I have struggled-along with a majority of this Court, to develop procedural & substantive rules that would lend more than the mere appearance of fairness to the death penalty endeavor.


    I feel morally and intellectually obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed.

    The path the Court has chosen lessens us all. I dissent.

    Comment


    • #3
      This might not even be that scary if you didn't have an administration that takes petty revenge on dissenters.
      Damn these electric sex pants!

      26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

      Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

      Comment


      • #4
        Nazi Germany Part II.


        Hey Pgrote, still think Alfred E. Newman's adminstration's going to be great 3 yrs from now ?

        Comment


        • #5
          i'm shocked

          who could have predicted that.
          Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

          Comment


          • #6
            This is just so fucked up.

            and wtf is up with giving info you gathered under the pretext of a terror investigation to "appropriate private sector entities" even after they find you didn't do anything wrong.


            Can private sector be the RIAA? MPAA?
            Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

            Comment


            • #7
              who the fuck cares?

              I've read the entire Patriot Act. Yeah, the whole fukken thing.

              much to do about nothing.

              If the libs want the government to wipe everybody's ass then they shouldn't have a fukken problem with them monitoring public computers.

              not doing anything wrong? You have nothing to worry about.

              Comment


              • #8
                QUOTE(goon attack @ Nov 6 2005, 10:47 AM) Quoted post

                who the fuck cares?

                I've read the entire Patriot Act. Yeah, the whole fukken thing.

                much to do about nothing.

                If the libs want the government to wipe everybody's ass then they shouldn't have a fukken problem with them monitoring public computers.

                not doing anything wrong? You have nothing to worry about.
                [/b][/quote]


                As a Libertarian, I resent ANY and ALL forms of intrusion in my personal life.
                Make America Great For Once.

                Comment


                • #9
                  QUOTE(goon attack @ Nov 6 2005, 10:47 AM) Quoted post
                  who the fuck cares?

                  I've read the entire Patriot Act. Yeah, the whole fukken thing.

                  much to do about nothing.

                  If the libs want the government to wipe everybody's ass then they shouldn't have a fukken problem with them monitoring public computers.

                  not doing anything wrong? You have nothing to worry about. [/b][/quote]



                  You are not serious, It's called the constitution, if you have not done anything wrong the government shouldn't be looking into your shit.

                  And if you are doing something wrong they shouldn't be using terrorism laws that go beyond what they can do legally for regular criminal activity to investigate you.
                  Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    QUOTE(The Kev @ Nov 6 2005, 10:48 AM) Quoted post



                    As a Libertarian, I resent ANY and ALL forms of intrusion in my personal life.
                    [/b][/quote]

                    I completely understand that.

                    I resent airliners being flown into skyscrapers more.

                    It's just a choice I've made.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      QUOTE(GreatestShow99 @ Nov 6 2005, 08:54 AM) Quoted post
                      Nazi Germany Part II.


                      Hey Pgrote, still think Alfred E. Newman's adminstration's going to be great 3 yrs from now ? [/b][/quote]

                      I was for the Patriot Act when it first was passed. The sole reason I liked it was that congress had the right to revoke it. They haven't. They've passed it again since it was initially passed. It's coming up for a vote again.

                      I think it should be voted down now. It was worth a try to see if it would actually help, but the government's inability to communicate any benefits it has shown, combined with the well documented abuses, proves to me that it's the wrong tool that is far too powerful in scope.

                      There are several provisions I think need to be legislated outside of the Patriot Act and they would be:
                      • Ability to share information among organizations.
                      • Interception of communication when terrorism is suspected. (It can be done like they did with the mob. They don't need all the power)
                      • Ability to issue nationwide, cross jurisdictional search warrants for electrionic communications.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        QUOTE(goon attack @ Nov 6 2005, 10:52 AM) Quoted post

                        QUOTE(The Kev @ Nov 6 2005, 10:48 AM) Quoted post



                        As a Libertarian, I resent ANY and ALL forms of intrusion in my personal life.
                        [/b][/quote]

                        I completely understand that.

                        I resent airliners being flown into skyscrapers more.

                        It's just a choice I've made.
                        [/b][/quote]


                        Let's knock of the PC crap that keeps us from profiling those most likely to cause us harm. In other words, turn up the scrutiny of people of middle eastern descent. Keep tabs on them, and leave me the hell alone.
                        Make America Great For Once.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          QUOTE(madyaks @ Nov 6 2005, 10:52 AM) Quoted post

                          You are not serious, It's called the constitution, if you have not done anything wrong the government shouldn't be looking into your shit.

                          And if you are doing something wrong they shouldn't be using terrorism laws that go beyond what they can do legally for regular criminal activity to investigate you.
                          [/b][/quote]

                          If they happen to catch people doing some other crap while investigating terrorism it's a bonus.

                          I'm not into crime. If people are pulling shit, I'm HAPPY when they are caught.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            QUOTE(The Kev @ Nov 6 2005, 10:54 AM) Quoted post




                            Let's knock of the PC crap that keeps us from profiling those most likely to cause us harm. In other words, turn up the scrutiny of people of middle eastern descent. Keep tabs on them, and leave me the hell alone.
                            [/b][/quote]

                            I completely agree.

                            But I have no problem with the government monitoring things from time to time in certain ways.

                            No skin off my nose.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              [quote name='goon attack' date='Nov 6 2005, 10:56 AM' post='884418']
                              [quote name='The Kev' post='884414' date='Nov 6 2005, 10:54 AM']





                              But I have no problem with the government monitoring things from time to time in certain ways.


                              [/quote]


                              Give them an inch...............
                              Make America Great For Once.

                              Comment

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