As if Patriot Act 1 wasn't enough, John Ashcroft's Justice Department is pushing a new set of infringements known as Patriot Act 2:
- under Patriot II, federal agents would not need a subpoena or obtain a court order to access our consumer credit reports. This provision would open the wedge for TIA to be implemented through a huge database. Our credit reports are repositories of a great deal of sensitive information - from our employment history to where we shop, borrow and transact.
Justice won't even tell us what actions have been taken under Patriot 1:
- The American Civil Liberties Union, The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the American Library Association's Freedom to Read Foundation have sued the Justice Department under the Freedom of Information Act in an effort to extract more information about the government's application of the Patriot Act.
....The FBI can walk into any bookstore or library with a search warrant, demand sales or lending records for anyone suspected of "international terrorism" or "clandestine activities." The employee has no recourse but to turn the records over, then cannot discuss this activity with anyone other than his/her attorney. The House Judiciary Committee and representatives of booksellers want to know how many times this has happened. I'm not sure that the booksellers have any right other than courtesy to the information, but surely the House Judiciary Committee, with legal responsibility for overseeing the Patriot Act, does.
Glenn Reynolds reports good news on that front:
- House Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. said Thursday that he would fight any effort now to make permanent many of the expanded police powers enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks as part of the USA Patriot Act.
"That will be done over my dead body," said Sensenbrenner in an interview.
The Menomonee Falls Republican also said it was "way premature" for Congress to consider a new package of anti-terrorism proposals being drafted by the Justice Department - a so-called "Patriot Act Two."