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Ten Key Dangers of The Patriot Act PDF Print E-mail
History - US Empire
No. 1: The government can conduct "sneak and peek" searches in which agents enter your home or business and search your belongings without informing you until long after.

No. 2: Government agents can force libraries and bookstores to hand over the titles of books that you1ve purchased or borrowed and can demand the identity of anyone who has purchased or borrowed certain books. The government can also prosecute libraries and bookstores for informing you that the search occurred or even for informing you that an inquiry was made. According to ACLU staff attorney Jameel Jaffer, such "searches could extend to doctors offices, banks and other institutions which, like libraries, were previously off-limits under the law." Chris Finan, President of the American Booksellers group adds: "The refusal of the Justice Department to tell Congress how many times it has used its powers is even more unsettling because it naturally leads to the suspicion that it is using them a lot."

No. 3: Federal agents are authorized to use hidden devices to trace the telephone calls or emails of people who are not even suspected of a crime. The FBI is also permitted to use its Magic Lantern technology to monitor everything you do on your computer--recording not just the websites you visit but EVERY SINGLE KEYSTROKE as well.

No. 4: Government agents are permitted to arrest and detain individuals "suspected" of terrorist activities and to hold them INDEFINITELY, WITHOUTCHARGE, and WITHOUT an ATTORNEY. (That could be you or me for sending or receiving this Email, by the way)

No. 5: Federal agents are permitted to conduct full investigations of American citizens and permanent legal residents simply because they have participated in activities protected by the First Amendment, such as writing a letter to the editor or attending a peaceful rally.

No. 6: Law enforcement agents are permitted to listen in on discussions between prisoners and their attorneys, thus denying them their Constitutional right to confidential legal counsel.

No. 7: Terrorism suspects may be tried in secret military tribunals where defendants have no right to a public trial, no right to trial by jury, no right to confront the evidence, and no right to appeal to an independent court. In short, the Constitution does not apply.

No. 8: The CIA is granted authority to spy on American citizens, a power that has previously been denied to this international espionage organization.

No. 9: In addition to the Patriot Act, the Bush administration has given us Operations TIPS, a government program that encourages citizens to spy on each other and to report their neighbors activities to the authorities. It's EXACLTY the kind of thing for which we used to fault East Germany and the Soviet Union, and for which we currently fault Red China and North Korea. Fortunately, Operation TIPS (or AmeriSnitch, as it's known to its many detractors) seems to have been recalled to the factory--at least for now. (Incidentally, in a clever variation of "two-can-play-at-that-game", Brad Templeton has set up a website at http://www.all-the-other-names-were-taken.com/tipstips.html where you can report people you suspect of being informants for Operation TIPS. It's an interesting and amusing site, well worth a look.)

No. 10: In the wake of Operation TIPS came something even worse: Total Information Awareness. TIA is a program of the Defense Department that when fully operational will link commercial and government databases so that the DOD can immediately put its finger on any piece of information about you that it wants. New York Times columnist William Safire writes: "Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and every event you attend all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as a virtual, centralized grand database." And that's not all. Who did our president appoint to head the TIA? Who gets to be Big Brother himself? Why it's none other than John Poindexter, a man convicted in 1990 on five counts of lying to Congress, destroying official documents, and obstructing congressional inquiries into the Iran-contra affair. Another Hermann Goering, if there ever was one.
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