Paper Chase

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While "authorizing intelligence" sounds like a good idea where government is concerned, the ACLU has some concerns about the proposed 2003 Intelligence Authorization Act. The group writes that the bill would expand the applicability of secret "national security letter" searches (which don't require any individualized suspicion of criminal activity) to cover:

a whole host of businesses and other institutions, including travel agencies, pawnbrokers, car dealerships, stockbrokers, the post office, casinos, or any other business ?whose cash transactions have a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax, or regulatory matters.?

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  1. Would evidence so gathered be admissable in a court proceeding, or just used for intelligence and military work? If not, could it be used to obtain a search warrant, to go look at the same thing again?

  2. Good question.

    The feds have a bad reputation as stewards of personal information. Even if the info is inadmissable, it will still be buried in a database waiting to be mined for some other purpose.

    The bill also talks about eliminate some of PATRIOT’s sunset provisions.

  3. When did the post office become a business?

  4. This stuff is scary. We had better fight back. We don’t want historians, years from now, to read this blog and wonder: “Yeah, they seemed upset, but if they knew that the post 9/11 federal machinations were ushering in the twilight of American liberty would they have more actively resisted?”

  5. The powers of the Patriot act are already being used in non-terrorism cases! From the ACLU abstract:
    The bill (Intelligence Authorization Act of 2003: H.R. 2417/S. 1025), would allow government agents, such as the FBI, to access your personal travel records, stock trades or personal purchases without any suspicion that you were involved in a crime. It would also allow the government to hide this investigation from you indefinitely — and do all of this without any court oversight.

    These prospect of the powers contained in this bill being used against dissent are another reason that the Feds. must not possess them. Remember Nixon? Clinton?

    We need to contact our congress people and senators as well as other organizations that might persuade their members to do the same. If the readers of this site will not be active in the resistance to this tyranny; who will? If we do not stop this; to what kind of nightmare world of submission to government authority are we condemning ourselves and our children?

  6. make that: “The prospect of the powers…” Sorry about that.

  7. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  8. “The bill also talks about eliminating some of PATRIOT’s sunset provisions.”

    Man, they keep trying to slip that under the table, don’t they?

  9. The 9/11 people were aiming for the wrong buildings. They could have saved a lot of headache by just going right to Washington, where their problems with the U.S. actually originate. Might have saved us some trouble too.

  10. They did hit the Pentagon. And the WTC were government buildings, too. Not federal, but still.

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