Chipping away at freedom

November 24th, 2003 – 7:34 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

There was quite an uproar earlier this year when the Justice Department’s plans for Patriot Act II were revealed, so apparently it was decided to sneak in provisions from that proposal by adding them to the latest intelligence spending bill:

Congress approved a bill on Friday that expands the reach of the Patriot Act, reduces oversight of the FBI and intelligence agencies and, according to critics, shifts the balance of power away from the legislature and the courts.

A provision of an intelligence spending bill will expand the power of the FBI to subpoena business documents and transactions from a broader range of businesses — everything from libraries to travel agencies to eBay — without first seeking approval from a judge.

At a time when the FBI is already doing things like spying on anti-war groups, reducing the already minimal amount of oversight it operates under seems ridiculous, but the Bush administration has long since shown that it will take any opportunity to increase its own power.

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