- Expands the FBI's power to conduct secret searches of private property or homes without informing the owner.
- Expands FBI access to private records held by a third party, such as credit reports, student records, medical records, financial information.
- Allows the FBI to conduct secret searches or wiretap s on U.S. citizens to obtain evidence of crimes without showing "probable cause."
- Expands an exception to the 4th Amendment for spying that collects information about the origin and destination of communications. This exception, when applied to Internet usage, allows access to far more private details than when applied to traditional communication methods like telephones or regular mail.
Yes this is an excellent tool for our law enforcement to stop those evil doers. But what if you were suspected of a crime against the nation? What if you spoke out, and somebody of authority did not like what you had to say?
I can think of several organizations that have utilized similar tactics, such as the Nazi Gestapo, and the Soviet KGB. The provisions allowed by the Patriot Act as it stands provide the basis to undermine our constitutional rights.
On September the 29th, a district judge struck down a USA Patriot Act provision allowing the FBI to gather phone and Web customer records and then barring the service providers from ever disclosing the search took place.
Judge Victor Marrero said the law violated the Fourth Amendment because it barred or deterred any judicial challenge to government searches, and it violated the First Amendment because its permanent ban on disclosure was a prior restraint on speech.
He noted that the U.S. Supreme Court recently said that a "state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens."
"Sometimes a right, once extinguished, may be gone for good," Marrero wrote.
Bush has stated that he wants to keep the Patriot Act as is. Kerry wants to change it. I am very interested in what Kerry wants to change about it. If I like the change I'm afraid that may enough to swing my vote to Kerry. Even though he is a flip flooper.
But maybe that is too radical. I suggest that we notify the Republican National Committee www.rnc.org and tell them what we think of the Patriot Act.
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.