Tuesday, December 20, 2005

PATRIOT Act Again... will it never end?

When will it end? I can't believe that the conservative right is calling democrats wimps on security because we don't want our right to privacy taken away. Will it help make the world safer to have unrestricted access to our homes, phone conversations, e-mails, internet-activity. No. Basically any aspect of your life you think is private can be montiored by the government legally under the USA PATRIOT act. What's next, camera's in the bedrooms, bathrooms, and elevators? If the government has some suspicion of wrong doing they should be forced to get a warant from a judge to pry into that persons life, that way there is a check in place to make sure the government is not abusing its rights. Call us wimps, tell us we flip-flop on issues, say whatever you want but do not take our right to privacy away. To anyone that reads this: please post on your blog, post responses on other blogs, or post anywhere to spread the idea that invasion of privacy under the PATRIOT act is not going to make the US safer, and is only going to bring us closer to totalitarian government.


Jerems said...

I didn't know you were political Andrew!!!!! If it makes you feel any better, the Patriot Act isn't what authorized Bush to order the NSA to secretly monitor thousands of Americans, without a warrant, from the secret court established by the Patriot Act. He just pulled that authority out of his ass. It's funny though, because he openly admits it, which must have just been a shocker for his administration. He admitted to an impeachable offense. Several times!!!

Andrew said...

Well the Patriot Act actually allowed him to search all e-mail or digital communnication without warrant but the Patriot act did not give him the ability to do wire taps without warrant, you are right. I can't believe he is still our president after the admission of breaking the laws set down by the Foriegn Intelligence Surveillance Act. God he makes me mad, as does the Partriot Act.

Andrew said...

And another thing... why aren't more people making this an issue? He broke the law, and admitted to it several times! What an arrogant bastard.

Anonymous said...

Here's a list of what it did:

Sec. 201: Adds to the list of offenses that can be used to justify a federal wiretap. That list now includes the use or development of chemical weapons, crimes of violence against Americans overseas, development of weapons of mass destruction, multinational terrorism, financial transactions with a country designated as a sponsor of terrorism, and providing material support to terrorists or terror organizations.

Sec. 202: Adds computer crimes to the list of offenses that justify a federal wiretap.

Sec. 203(b): Allows foreign intelligence gathered through criminal wiretaps to be shared with a wide array of federal agencies, including defense and intelligence agencies.

Sec. 203(d): Authorizes law-enforcement personnel to share foreign intelligence information with the same broad set of federal agencies.

Sec. 206: Expands the use of "multipoint" or "roving" wiretaps in foreign intelligence investigations.

Sec. 207: Expands the duration of foreign intelligence surveillance of non-U.S. citizens.

Sec. 209: Clarifies that law enforcement only needs a simple search warrant to seize a voice mail message, not a wiretap order. The Justice Department argued for this provision as a way to update earlier law, which demanded a wiretap order before investigators could get access to voice mail messages stored on message services.

Sec. 212: Allows communications service providers to disclose suspicious e-mail messages to police if there's immediate danger of physical injury.

The Justice Department says that prior to the Patriot Act, the FBI could not accept emergency calls from Internet service providers (ISPs) who had knowledge of an ongoing crime. Now, the FBI can intervene immediately if an online conversation reveals an emergency.

Some legal scholars say this provision is open to abuse, since the ISP gets to determine what constitutes an emergency. Critics want any information that was obtained inappropriately to be thrown out of court if there's a criminal prosecution.

Sec. 214: Makes it easier for investigators to use "rap and trace" or "pen register" devices in foreign intelligence investigations. These devices relay the numbers of the people on either end of the call.

Sec. 215: Allows a special judge to issue an order for "any tangible thing" that is sought in connection to a foreign intelligence investigation. Previously, this power was limited to hotel, car rental and storage records. Librarians and bookstore owners have objected strenuously, saying the FBI could use this section to search patrons records. This provision also prohibits the records holder from talking to anyone about the order.

It has been used 35 times as of March 31, 2005, never at a library or bookstore.

Sec. 217: Allows the government to eavesdrop on electronic communications if one party agrees, without judicial oversight. The section was designed for cases of computer trespassing, when an Internet service provider wants the police to help investigate an attack. Some critics say this provision gives the ISPs and the police the power to go after people who might be illegally sharing files or who have violated the terms of their use agreements.

Sec. 218: Expands the use of foreign intelligence wiretaps to cases where intelligence is merely a "significant" purpose of the probe, rather than the "primary" purpose as before. This key amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is also seen as key to removing the "wall" between intelligence and criminal investigations.

Sec. 220: Allows nationwide search warrants for electronic communications. Eliminates the need to seek multiple warrants for Internet messages, which may pass through several jurisdictions.

Sec. 223: Allows people to sue the government over unauthorized disclosures of wiretap information.

Sec. 225: Provides immunity from lawsuits for people cooperating in an intelligence wiretap.

So you're right, electronic communication can be monitored. Without judicial oversight, if the Internet provider agrees. I don't know how often that happens. If it got out that a provider was sending a lot of emails to the FBI, or the Justice Department, people wouldn't use it, and they'd be out of business.

Jerems said...

I forgot my username and my password. I'm retarded.

Andrew said...

So I reread the USA Patriot Act, Sec. 217 and here is a direct quote:

`(i) It shall not be unlawful under this chapter for a person acting under color of law to intercept the wire or electronic communications of a computer trespasser transmitted to, through, or from the protected computer, if--

`(I) the owner or operator of the protected computer authorizes the interception of the computer trespasser's communications on the protected computer;
`(II) the person acting under color of law is lawfully engaged in an investigation;
`(III) the person acting under color of law has reasonable grounds to believe that the contents of the computer trespasser's communications will be relevant to the investigation;
`(IV) such interception does not acquire communications other than those transmitted to or from the computer trespasser.'.

So all the FBI/CIA has to do is call an invesigation and then they are granted access to all electronic data? Also, what defines "reasonable grounds"? These statements are so broad that it basically makes any action done by the government to gather electronic information from anyone legal. Also, the idea of a computer trespasser is basically anyone the government feels like conducting an investigation on. There is no definition of trespasser that I could find.

Jerems said...

Well, you have to figure out what "color of law" means. They can't just read your email. They have to have permission from whoever runs the server. Then they can read shit without a warrant. Or they have to get a warrant, or they have to have your permission, or that of the recipient.

Part of this law was meant to address computer hackers. That's what the whole trespass thing is about. Because in essence you are trespassing upon the servers property when you hack into a system.

Andrew said...

Well of course it makes sense if you define the trespasser as a hacker that has made modifications to the server's or recipient's computer. But if a trespasser were to be, let's say, a potential terrorist, i.e. anyone of Islamic belief (according National Security), that was sending information to a recipient via e-mail, then would the government need to get the permission of the server that transmitted the e-mail to the recipient or would they need to get the recipient's permission to use the e-mail's information against the sender? That is not explicitly defined. Also here is the catch, in section 212 it says this:

`Sec. 2703. Required disclosure of customer communications or records';
(C) in subsection (c)(1)
(i) by striking `(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a provider of electronic communication service or remote computing service may' and inserting `A governmental entity may require a provider of electronic communication service or remote computing service to'

I take this to mean that the government “may require” a service provider to disclose customer communications or records in an "emergency", whatever that may mean.

Jerems said...

Trespasser is totally separate. I think it was adressed here, because identity theft, for the purposes of say, boarding a plane, is an issue, and it can be achieved by stealing information, on private servers. A trespasser, therefore, is not someone who says keywords in an email, it is someone who goes out of their way to infiltrate a private database, for the purpose of stealing information.

That said, the reporting of suspicious emails to a government entity, in times of an emergency. What that is, is if the Internet provider, sees an immediate threat, by electronic communication, the specifity of which I'm reluctant to go into (who knows who is watching), they will alert the aforementioned governmental agency, and give them permission, which this Act authorizes, to read the communication.

You understand that I think the Patriot Act is retarded right? I just think it's important to know what it says. Some of which I understand.