FBI Meets with Congress to Discuss Patriot 2

Not surprising that this is already making its way into Congressional hearings:

The FBI on Tuesday asked the U.S. Congress for sweeping new powers to seize business or private records, ranging from medical information to book purchases, to investigate terrorism without first securing approval from a judge.

Valerie Caproni, FBI general counsel, told the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee her agency needed the power to issue what are known as administrative subpoenas to get information quickly about terrorist plots and the activities of foreign agents.

Basically, the FBI wants a password to every database in the U.S. and access to it carte blanche without oversight. Oh, and they won’t have to tell you about it. Currently, the FBI can do sneak-and-peak searches like this (which still egregious defies the 5th amendment), but the new powers would remove the judicial oversight completely and hand the power directly to the executive branch (the FBI).

Oh, and they promise to use this secret authority to only go after terrorists… right. Let me take stock of the monkeys that fly out of my butt whenever the FBI says it only used the original Patriot Act for terrorists.

UPDATE: [via BoingBoing] The EFF has taken to calling it Patriot III for some reason, but they also nailed the vastness of the power given to the FBI:

The FBI could use the subpoenas to get practically anything from anyone: Internet logs and emails from your Internet service provider, health records from your doctor, financial information from your bank, or records about your reading habits from your bookstore or library.

The Justice Department has long sought this kind of unprecedented subpoena power for the FBI, but Congress has always said no — even in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

If you are a resident of Kansas, Utah, Ohio, Missouri, Maine, Nebraska, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Michigan, California, Oregon, Indiana, Maryland, or New Jersey, your senator is on the committee reviewing this bill in a closed session on Thursday. So… SIGN THE PETITION!

» FBI asks US Congress for power to seize documents [WaPo]
» U.S. Uses Terror Law to Pursue Crimes From Drugs to Swindling [NYT cache]
» Patriot Act 2: Calling all Lone Wolves Edition [HoT]
» PATRIOT III: Justice Department Asks Congress to Expand Its Spying Powers – Again [EFF]
» PETITION: Say No to New PATRIOT Spying Powers [EFF]

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. GAwd. This is enough to make me want to move to Mexico. Of course there you have an even dirtier government, so I guess I’m just screwed.