- May 19, 2004
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
- Libertarian - Right
[/font][font=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]Patriot Act II – is it a prudent step to stem terrorist activity in the U.S. and protect the homeland, or a Draconian measure designed to strip the last vestiges of freedom from the American landscape? [/font] [font=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]Such is the question increasingly on the minds of Internet users, many of whom come down squarely on the side of legal experts who warn of the legislation's danger. Though an actual bill to further expand federal law-enforcement powers has not been introduced, activists for months have communicated online about what they see as potential Nazi-like developments.
[font=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]The first USA Patriot Act – or the Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act – was passed in 2001 in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. It gave federal authorities new power to wiretap phones, confiscate property of suspected terrorists, spy on residents and conduct searches. Its importance to the war on terror was stressed to members of Congress at that time – most of whom were not allowed to read the bill before it was passed, noted Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, a Patriot Act opponent. [/font]
[font=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]Though Patriot Act II has not been officially introduced in Congress, a Department of Justice draft version of the bill, named the Domestic Security Enhancement Act, was obtained in January 2003 by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative organization. The draft [a .pdf document] is marked "Confidential, not for distribution." The document includes an analysis of the expanded powers and a draft of the bill itself.