and Peak: Behind the New Anti-terror Laws
by Drudge Jr.
On Oct 26, 2001, the "USA Patriot Act" was signed into law
to aid law enforcement authorities to find new ways to combat
suspected terrorists. The bill is shockingly prying, almost
to a violent level. Also the process in which the bill was
ratified was highly questionable, making the USA Patriot Act
one of the most controversial bills in recent history, yet
it's gone completely under the radar of public view.
The specific new techniques that are available to law enforcement
are shocking enough. If there is a suspicion someone is conducting
or planning terrorism, a warrant can be obtained to infiltrate
a suspect's privacy in several ways that were once illegal.
These court orders have been called "sneak and peek," and
allow investigators to break into, search, inspect, and change
items in any domain the suspect has come in contact with,
including homes and offices. Due to the Patriot Act, an investigator
that suspects someone of terrorism could break into their
homes, place trackers in their computer, put taps on their
phones, install cameras in their ceiling, and any other devices
needed to investigate the suspect, or anyone who comes in
contact with the suspect. Not to mention the investigators
never have to present the warrant to anyone! Sounds like something
from a spy movie? Sounds like something you'd see in an Oliver
Stone Movie? Sound like some paranoid X-files fan worries
about all day long? The FBI has admitted to using these tactics
illegally before, but now it's all legal!
One may think the Patriot Act doesn't threaten them, as long
as they aren't planning to blow something up. Wrong!
Under this act the definition of a terrorist has expanded,
and now applies to "cyber terrorists," who now face up to
20 years in prison if caught. The sneak and peak could also
be used on the "cyber terrorist's" friends or acquaintances.
Some theorize the definition of terrorist could stretch so
far that it also includes Drug dealers, or users. If an audio
recorder is placed in a suspected terrorist's cubicle, it
will also record conversations around the terrorist, invading
the privacy of innocent civilians. Also, make sure your careful
what you type on the Internet, because the government can
now spy on phrases entered into search engines, without a
Another shocking feature of this act is how it was signed
into law. The act is very long, about 324 pages, and alters
15 statutes. Some sections graphically define terrorist activities,
such as cyber terror, while others are exceedingly vague,
especially about new rules in immigration and the treatment
of families of victims of terrorism. This makes the bill look
like a rush job. The bill may have been ratified so easily
because most congressmen didn't even read it. Democrats had
access to fewer then 10 copies, yet it was still easily passed.
Another feature I found disturbing about the Patriot Act
was the lack of attention. No one seems to notice the power
the government now has legal access to, and the disruption
of presumed fundamental civil liberties. This act is now a
part of every American's life, and everyone is at risk, one
can't help but feel paranoid.