It seems odd to me that the defenders of the PATRIOT act urge us to look at the details of the Act and stop viewing it as Federal law enforcement's ticket to do essentially whatever law enforcement wants, without procedural safeguards.
When you get into the trenches and watch how they are actually using PATRIOT, however, it becomes pretty clear that law enfocement has interpreted it as their ticket to do whatever they want.
My personal pet peeve is the Treasury Department's abuse of PATRIOT, as part of investigations having absolutely nothing to do with terrorism.Posted by Jim at June 6, 2004 07:53 AM | TrackBack
For instance, I represent a small Internet service provider. Over a year ago, they received from the Customs Service (part of Treasury) a subpoena for a customer's personal information. The Subpoena purported to be about some buzz-word called "cybersmuggling" (how do you smuggle stuff over the Internet? -- perhaps we're closer to Star Trek transporters than I ever imagined!), and had no apparent connection to terrorism.
And, of course, Customs insisted that we must not tell anyone else about their Subpoena (don't want anyone to scrutinize and question what the Government is doing, I suppose). I've provided a redacted copy of my response letter to Customs (revealing no details of the investigation or the subject) to Chilling Efffects, and even they appear to be afraid to publicize this abuse.