Thursday, October 21, 2004

Abuse of Patriot Act

Jeff said he hadn't heard of any abuse of the Patriot act since it was enacted, whereas I read it as more of a wholesale removal of checks and balances to give the FBI carte blanche to do whatever it wants to someone as long as they call them a "terrorist" first. So, in search of some hard data, I did a Google search, and found the following interesting items:

FBI and MPAA use the Patriot act to obtain financial information about the operator of an SG-1 fan site: link

Internal DOJ report cites Patriot-act related abuses: link

ABA Summary of changes in Patriot act, including defining most computer-related crimes as terrorism: link

Money quote:
There is nothing new or shocking about the fact that many of the provisions in the Patriot Act have no direct relevance to terrorism, cyberterrorism, or protection of the government or individuals from future acts like those experienced on September 11. It is common that congressional acts include provisions with no relevance to the main purpose and title of the act. What may be unique here are the speed at which the Patriot Act was passed and the purpose for the haste. One wonders whether it was necessary, in light of these extenuating circumstances, to include provisions with far-reaching effects beyond terrorism.

L.A. judge rules part of Patriot act unconstitutional: link

Cato institute gives Patriot act a nay: link

And, just for giggles, here's the complete text of the bill.

Recent article on the Register about part of the Patriot act being overturned.

FBI threatens to throw journalists in jail using the Patriot Act

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