Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: We didn't really need the first ammendment anyway, did we? .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Thursday, May 26, 2005

We didn't really need the first ammendment anyway, did we?

Via Majikthise -

The Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a secret vote on expanding the Patriot Act today. Rather than bringing the controversial Act into line with the Constitution, it will empower law enforcement with even more ability to intrude into our personal lives without any oversight. According to the ACLU,

The bill would grant so-called "administrative subpoena" authority to the FBI, letting the bureau write and approve its own search orders for any tangible thing it deems relevant to an intelligence investigation without approval. This power would let agents seize personal records from medical facilities, libraries, hotels, gun dealers, banks and any other business, without having to appear before a judge, and without any evidence that the people whose records are swept in are involved in any criminal activity.

The proposal would also give the FBI broad new powers to track people’s mail in intelligence inquiries. It would force postal workers to disclose the name, address and other information appearing on envelopes delivered to or from people designated by the FBI, without any meaningful protections.

The scariest part of this is that the proposed legislation will remove the safeguard that this Act can't be used solely because of activities protected by the first ammendment, as is currently the case. This legislation will, in effect, allow the FBI to violate all of your privacy rights if you exercise free speech.

The though police are not that far in our future.


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