Home > News > Justice Department Struggles to Retain Control of Patriot Act • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

Justice Department Struggles to Retain Control of Patriot Act

Justice Department Struggles to Retain Control of Patriot Act
Get XBIZ News
XBIZ Research
Will virtual reality boost the paysite market?
Yes, it will soon
  39.66%
Yes, but in a few years
  36.87%
No
  23.46%
Out of 179 votes. Results based on votes submitted by members of XBIZ.net social network.
Jul 14, 2004 8:15 AM PDT    Text size: 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the final stretch for the Bush Administration to keep the controversial Patriot Act intact before sections of it are slated to expire, the Justice Department stood before the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday with a 29-page report detailing the reasons why the Act is essential to the "war on terror."

Just over a dozen key provisions of the Patriot Act will expire on Dec. 31, 2005, and already the issue is being used as a campaign flagship by President Bush.

However, according to reports, many portions of the Patriot Act have no expiration date and will continue to enforce government related investigations indefinitely.

Attorney General John Ashcroft pushed the case before Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R., Wis.) that the Patriot Act continues to "save lives," and that it is al Qaeda's "worst nightmare."

Ashcroft's presentation included a compilation of dozens of "real life" cases from across the country in which the FBI and other law enforcement officials have used the "tools of the Patriot Act to protect America's families and communities, and even to save lives."

He was also quick to sell the legitimacy of the Patriot Act as being a weapon "across the board" against child molesters and pornographers, although Ashcroft did not detail the Justice Department's progress in that arena.

The Patriot Act was originally drafted immediately following the September 11 terrorist act in 2001 and was reportedly approved by Congress so quickly that the majority of lawmakers barely had time to read the 342-page document that many critics equate to the actualization of a "Big Brother" role for the U.S. Government over its people.

The Patriot Act gave sweeping new powers to both domestic law enforcement and international intelligence agencies involving cyber sleuthing, wiretapping surveillance, domestic security, border patrol, and "removing obstacles to the investigation of terrorism."

The government's definition of the Act at the time of its assembly is defined as setting the standards to "deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and for other purposes."

The shady and yet-undefined reference to "other purposes" continues to raise the ire of many political organizations who feel that the government has granted itself the power to override the terms of the U.S. Constitution for its own convenience, even giving the FBI the power to spy on individual's activities online and offline without a court order.

Just last week, congress let slide an amendment to the Patriot Act that would have prevented the FBI and other law enforcement agencies from spying on library and bookstore preferences and purchases.

According to those who attended Ashcroft's presentation, the attorney general did little to address the mounting concerns of civil liberties groups, including the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation who are both currently involved in lawsuits challenging the validity of the Act and the way in which the government is fighting to keep it intact.

However, Ashcroft pushed the case this week that the Patriot Act is so far responsible for terrorism investigations that have led to charges against hundreds of individuals, with 179 convictions to date.

"Let me be clear about something before I move on," Ashcroft said before the Judiciary Committee. "Congress intended that the Patriot Act be used to save lives from terrorist attacks. In fact, there are a number of provisions that are only to be used to prevent terrorism or foreign spying."

"We are a nation at war. That is a fact. Al Qaeda wants to hit us and hit us hard. We have to use every legal weapon available to protect the American people from terrorist attacks," Ashcroft stated. "By tearing down the wall between law enforcement and the intelligence community, we have been able to share information in a way that was virtually impossible before the Patriot Act."

According to reports, a sequel to the Patriot Act, the Patriot II, is being drafted and would contain even broader provisions.

To date, three states and a growing number of counties and municipalities have expressed disapproval of the Patriot Act.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

OPINIONS & VIEWS

Could Adult Content Be Banned?

Earlier this month, I met with the Free Speech Coalition’s board of directors for our annual review. Despite the headwinds our industry faces, politically and economically, we are, as an organization,... More »

Cutting Costs in the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Adult website owners are comprised of two groups: One is comfortable giving up 30-50 percent of their site’s gross sales revenue (aka profit) in exchange for software, hosting and services despite... More »

Technological Advances Typically Meet Wall of Resistance

Our lives have changed immeasurably in the past 100 years. Think of the wealthiest, most powerful person 100 years ago. It was probably John D. Rockefeller. In inflation-adjusted terms he is the wealthiest... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.

UPCOMING EVENTS

XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida

XShow 18+ 2017

Jun 01 - Jun 03
Moscow, Russia

Cam Summit

Jun 02 - Jun 04
Lloret de Mar, Spain
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!