July 11, 2005

What your tax dollars could be doing against you

From the New York Times editorial page, July 11, 2005

"The Patriot Act already gives government too much power to spy on ordinary Americans, but things could get far worse. Congress is considering adding a broad new investigative power, known as the administrative subpoena, that would allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation to gain access to anyone's financial, medical, employment and even library records without approval from a judge and even without the target knowing about it. Members of Congress should block this disturbing provision from becoming law.

"The Senate is at work on a bill to reauthorize parts of the Patriot Act that are scheduled to expire later this year. In addition to extending those provisions, the Senate Intelligence Committee is proposing to add an array of new "investigative tools." The administrative subpoena is not the only one of the new provisions of the current bill that would endanger civil liberties, but it is the worst.

"When the F.B.I. wants access to private records about an individual, it ordinarily needs to get the approval of a judge or a grand jury. The proposed new administrative subpoena power would allow the F.B.I. to call people in and force them to produce records on its own authority, without approval from the judicial branch. This kind of secret, compelled evidence not tied to any court is incompatible with basic American principles of justice....

"The bill would allow the F.B.I. to order that the subpoenas be kept secret. That means record holders, like banks or employers, would not be able to inform the person whose private information was being handed over. It would also make it difficult for Congress, and the public, to know whether the F.B.I. was abusing its enormous new powers...."

For once, I am speechless. Question is, where will the first amendment be when I recover my voice?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Life has always had dangers--always will have. Insisting that we be 100% safe is irrational, and losing freedoms is too large a price to pay in pursuit of that unattainable goal. By following the irrational path of fear, we assure that terrorists need lift not one more finger to destroy us. We destroy ourselves. For, what is life without our freedoms?
Cop Car
P.S. Better we should spend our resources on activities that provide a higher return on investment.

10:13 AM  

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