USA Patriot Act II
Key Provisions of Patriot Act II:
The Bush Administration's draft Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003
would radically expand law enforcement and intelligence gathering
authorities, reduce or eliminate judicial oversight over surveillance,
authorize secret arrests, create a DNA database based on unchecked executive
"suspicion," create new death penalties, and even seek to take American
citizenship away from persons who belong to or support disfavored political
Here are a few highlights of PATRIOT Act II provisions (information supplied by ACLU):
1. Secret Arrests. Section 201 would authorize secret arrests,
overturning a federal court decision requiring the government to disclose
the identity of persons it has detained in the September 11 investigation.
This provision would mandate that all arrests in connection with
"international terrorism" investigations be secret until an indictment is
filed. Never before in our history have we permitted secret arrests.
2. Ending Consent Decrees Against Illegal Police Spying.
Section 312 would automatically terminate any consent decree governing
police spying abuse that was entered before September 11, 2001, no matter
what the basis of that decree. It would essentially eliminate consent
decrees for the future with respect to police spying, and place substantial
restrictions on judicial injunctions.
3. Unchecked Deportation Authority. Section 503 would give the
Attorney General unchecked power to deport foreign nationals, including
lawful permanent resident aliens, whenever he determines that their presence
is inconsistent with our "national security," which is defined to include
"economic interests" or "foreign policy." This provision directly attacks
the existing laws that allowed us to win our nationwide class action lawsuit
in the deportation of Somalis around the country.
4. Stripping Citizenship for Political Associations. Section
501 would seek to strip citizenship from persons for their political
associations. It would provide that even activity that is currently legal
to engage in - such as belonging to or supporting the lawful activities of a
group designated "terrorist" by the Attorney General - would be presumptive
grounds for losing one's citizenship.
5. Bypassing Judicial Oversight. Section 103 would authorize
the Attorney General to bypass the courts altogether for Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act searches and wiretaps whenever Congress has
authorized the use of force. Section 128 would allow government to bypass
grand juries for subpoenas in terrorism investigations. Section 126 allows
government to bypass courts or grand juries in seeking access to credit
6. DNA Database for "Suspected" Terrorists. Section 301-306
would authorize creation of a DNA database on "suspected terrorists,"
expansively defined to include mere association with suspected terrorist
groups, and non citizens suspected of everyday crimes or of having supported
any group designated as terrorist.
7. Eliminating Privacy Protections for U.S. Citizens. Section
107 would eliminate protections in the current FISA law for U.S. persons
(citizens and lawful permanent residents). It would allow the government to
get pen registers on U.S. persons for any foreign intelligence
investigation, without regard to any criminal or terrorist nexus.
8. Collapsing Distinction Between Domestic and International
Terrorism Investigations. Section 121 eliminates the distinction between
international terrorism and domestic terrorism. The reason for that
distinction has been that domestic terrorism is a crime, and should be
treated as a criminal matter, while international terrorism is both a crime
and a matter of foreign intelligence. As a result, international terrorism
investigations have used broader surveillance under looser restrictions
than domestic terrorism investigations, which are subject to the traditional
restrictions that apply to all criminal investigations.. This bill would
eliminate that distinction, treating wholly domestic criminal acts and
conspiracies as subject to the same authorities that extend to foreign
9. Access to Credit Reports Section 126 would give federal law
enforcement authorities access to credit reports on the same basis as
private companies. Historically, law enforcement access has been more
limited, because of concerns that law enforcement is more susceptible to
serious abuse than private companies. This provision would eliminate that
10. Secrecy. Section 128 and 206 impose gag orders on persons
subjected to terrorism investigations. Section 204 would presumptively give
the government authority to make secret presentations to courts in criminal
cases related to the Classified Information Procedures Act.
11. New Death Penalties. Section 411 creates new death
penalties for certain terrorist offenses.
12. Extradition Without Treaty. Section 322 authorizes
extradition even where there is no treaty authorizing and setting criteria
13. Expedited Removal for "Criminal Aliens." Section 504 has
nothing to do with terrorism whatsoever. It creates an "expedited removal"
process, radically limiting judicial review, for any foreign national
convicted of a wide range of minor and major crimes, irrespective of when
the crime was committed. This simply exacerbates the already harsh
immigration laws governing those who have committed a crime, and seeks to
deprive them of any meaningful judicial review, without any connection to
terrorism or national security.