Parsing Patriot II
An interesting analysis of what Patriot II could mean if enacted into law here, from Anita Ramasastry, a law professor at the University of Washington. Lots of scary stuff. An excerpt: "What if you're lucky enough discover that you've been illegally spied on, in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights? Too bad. Patriot II would provide immunity from liability to law enforcement engaging in spying operations against the American people. The proposed act provides a defense for federal agents who engage unauthorized searches and surveillances relating to foreign intelligence when they are acting "pursuant to a lawful authorization from the President or the Attorney General."
What if a disgruntled business competitor chooses to falsely claim to the government that you're a "suspected terrorist"? Again, too bad. Don't consider suing the competitor, no matter what consequences ensure Patriot II eliminates civil liability for businesses and employees that report "suspected terrorists" to the federal government, no matter how malicious or unfounded the tip may be."