Thursday, April 03, 2003
About I month ago I posted about John Ashcroft's radical proposed Domestic Security Enhancement Act, also known as Patriot Act II - well, it's one step closer to reality. According to AlterNet, the details of the sweeping set of nullifications to many of America's treasured liberties are chilling:
- The government would be instructed to build a mammoth database of citizen DNA information, aimed at "detecting, investigating, prosecuting, preventing or responding to terrorist activities." Samples could be collected without a court order; one need only be suspected of wrongdoing by a law enforcement officer. Those refusing the cheek-swab could be fined $200,000 and jailed for a year.
- Legal permanent residents could be deported instantaneously, without a criminal charge or even evidence, if the Attorney General considers them a threat to national security. If they commit minor, non-terrorist offenses, they can still be booted out, without so much as a day in court, because the law would exempt habeas corpus review in some cases.
- Authorities could wiretap anybody for 15 days, and snoop on anyone's Internet usage (including chat and email), all without obtaining a warrant.
- The death penalty would be expanded to cover 15 new offenses.
- Americans could have their citizenship revoked, if found to have contributed "material support" to organizations deemed by the government, even retroactively, to be "terrorist."
- The ACLU
- The Center for Public Integrity
- The Lawyers' Committee on Human Rights [PDF]
- The Electronic Privacy Information Center
I don't know about you, folks, but the DSEA just isn't American, by any stretch of the imagination.