The government also argues that the transactional data for Web surfing is a list of the URLs or Web site addresses that a person visits.
For example, it might record the fact that they visited " www. This claim that URLs are just addressing data breaks down in two different ways:. Similarly, if I fill out an online form - to purchase goods or register my preferences, for example - those products and preferences will often be identified in the resulting URL.
Attempts to find out how the new surveillance powers created by the Patriot Act were implemented during their first year were in vain. In June the House Judiciary Committee demanded that the Department of Justice answer questions about how it was using its new authority. In short, not only has the Bush Administration undermined judicial oversight of government spying on citizens by pushing the Patriot Act into law, but it is also undermining another crucial check and balance on surveillance powers: accountability to Congress and the public. Although this fact sheet focuses on the direct surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act, citizens should be aware that the act also contains a number of other provisions.
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The Act:. Know your rights. For almost years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Facebook Twitter Reddit Email Print. Why Congress passed the Patriot Act Most of the changes to surveillance law made by the Patriot Act were part of a longstanding law enforcement wish list that had been previously rejected by Congress, in some cases repeatedly. The Patriot Act increases the government's power to spy in four areas The Patriot Act increases the governments surveillance powers in four areas: Records searches.
It expands the government's ability to look at records on an individual's activity being held by a third parties. It expands the government's ability to search private property without notice to the owner. It expands a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment that had been created for the collection of foreign intelligence information Section It expands another Fourth Amendment exception for spying that collects "addressing" information about the origin and destination of communications, as opposed to the content Section Expanded access to personal records held by third parties One of the most significant provisions of the Patriot Act makes it far easier for the authorities to gain access to records of citizens' activities being held by a third party.
Making matters worse: The government no longer has to show evidence that the subjects of search orders are an "agent of a foreign power," a requirement that previously protected Americans against abuse of this authority. The FBI does not even have to show a reasonable suspicion that the records are related to criminal activity, much less the requirement for "probable cause" that is listed in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. All the government needs to do is make the broad assertion that the request is related to an ongoing terrorism or foreign intelligence investigation.
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Judicial oversight of these new powers is essentially non-existent. The government must only certify to a judge - with no need for evidence or proof - that such a search meets the statute's broad criteria, and the judge does not even have the authority to reject the application.
Surveillance orders can be based in part on a person's First Amendment activities, such as the books they read, the Web sites they visit, or a letter to the editor they have written. A person or organization forced to turn over records is prohibited from disclosing the search to anyone.
As a result of this gag order, the subjects of surveillance never even find out that their personal records have been examined by the government. That undercuts an important check and balance on this power: the ability of individuals to challenge illegitimate searches. To gather foreign intelligence or investigate international terrorism To gather foreign intelligence or protect against international terrorism What can the FBI demand be turned over?
Only people who the FBI has evidence are an "agent of a foreign power" Anyone Who can they demand it from?
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It: Violates the Fourth Amendment, which says the government cannot conduct a search without obtaining a warrant and showing probable cause to believe that the person has committed or will commit a crime. Violates the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech by prohibiting the recipients of search orders from telling others about those orders, even where there is no real need for secrecy.
Violates the First Amendment by effectively authorizing the FBI to launch investigations of American citizens in part for exercising their freedom of speech.
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Violates the Fourth Amendmentby failing to provide notice - even after the fact - to persons whose privacy has been compromised. Notice is also a key element of due process, which is guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. More secret searches For centuries, common law has required that the government can't go into your property without telling you, and must therefore give you notice before it executes a search. Expansion of the intelligence exception in wiretap law Under the Patriot Act, the FBI can secretly conduct a physical search or wiretap on American citizens to obtain evidence of crime without proving probable cause, as the Fourth Amendment explicitly requires.
Expansion of the "pen register" exception in wiretap law Another exception to the normal requirement for probable cause in wiretap law is also expanded by the Patriot Act. This claim that URLs are just addressing data breaks down in two different ways: Web addresses are rich and revealing content. The URLs or "addresses" of the Web pages we read are not really addresses, they are the titles of documents that we download from the Internet. When we "visit" a Web page what we are really doing is downloading that page from the Internet onto our computer, where it is displayed.
Therefore, the list of URLs that we visit during a Web session is really a list of the documents we have downloaded - no different from a list of electronic books we might have purchased online. That is much richer information than a simple list of the people we have communicated with; it is intimate information that reveals who we are and what we are thinking about - much more like the content of a phone call than the number dialed.
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After all, it is often said that reading is a "conversation" with the author. Web addresses contain communications sent by a surfer. URLs themselves often have content embedded within them. The erosion of accountability Attempts to find out how the new surveillance powers created by the Patriot Act were implemented during their first year were in vain. The Patriot Act gives the Director of Central Intelligence the power to identify domestic intelligence requirements.
That opens the door to the same abuses that took place in the s and before, when the CIA engaged in widespread spying on protest groups and other Americans. Creates a new crime of "domestic terrorism.
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Under the Patriot Act, providing lodging or assistance to such "terrorists" exposes a person to surveillance or prosecution. Furthermore, the law gives the attorney general and the secretary of state the power to detain or deport any non-citizen who belongs to or donates money to one of these broadly defined "domestic terrorist" groups. Red, white and blue are the colors of the flag of the country in which the Knights originated.
They are used to stress patriotism, the basic principle of the Fourth Degree. When knighthood was in flower, knights carried the sword to defend their God, their Church, their country and their fellow man according to the code of chivalry. Today, Sir Knights wear regalia and carry the sword to honor Christ and His apostles, especially on religious and civic occasions specified in this manual. Hence, the primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to encourage active Catholic citizenship and foster the spirit of patriotism in members and the community at large.
The public appearance of Fourth Degree Knights as a Color Corps at religious and civic functions is an important activity of each assembly. Their colorful capes and chapeaux add dignity and the pride of Church and country to any event. By these public demonstrations their loyalties bring credit to themselves and to the Knights of Columbus.