Thanks MxxCon. On the same day the media was bogged down with images of Saddam Hussein being searched for head-lice, a new provision to the Patriot Act was signed into law by the President. Quietly tucked away in an intelligence spending bill, the changes broaden the ability for the FBI to obtain financial records from any number of sources with what opponent say is little accountability. -
Under the Patriot Act, ISP's and network administrators can give the green light to government surveillance of computer networks without a judicial order, without informing the person monitored, without Judicial oversight, without reporting the tactics to congress; all while essentially eliminating many of the rights of the person being monitored. These controversial portions of the act aren't well discussed at the 'cheerleaderesque' website developed by the DOJ.
Recent analysis of the website by the Center for Democracy and technology claims the website "provides misleading, incomplete and, in some cases, incorrect information." Among other statements, the DOJ claims that "Peaceful political organizations engaging in political advocacy cannot be considered terrorists under the PATRIOT Act's new definition of domestic terrorism."
Not necessarily true, says the CDT, who notes that all someone needs to do to acquire the label of domestic terrorist is violate an existing law "involving risk of serious injury." That could include blocking traffic at a protest, or accidentally harming someone during a struggle. Like most hotly debated legislation, it's the loose wording of the Act, leading to potentially significant abuses, that gives privacy advocates cause for concern.
News source: DSLReport - Patriot Act Grows