In November of 2012, TJ posted this about the Patriot Act:
He is absolutely right. There IS cause to be concerned about our privacy.
The Act, which is still in force today, is incredibly complex. In its simples terms, it designates 10 separate areas of control. It has been modified slightly over the years, and has been authorized several times.
The Patriot Act was enacted in direct response to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, as well as the 2001 anthrax attacks, with the stated goal of dramatically strengthening national security. On October 23, 2001, U.S. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced House bill H.R. 3162, which incorporated provisions from a previously-sponsored House bill, and a Senate bill introduced earlier in the month. The next day, October 24, the Act passed the House by a vote of 357–66, with Democrats comprising the overwhelming majority of "no"-votes. The three Republicans voting "no" were Robert Ney of Ohio, Butch Otter of Idaho, and Ron Paul of Texas. On October 25, the Act passed the Senate with a vote of 98–1. Russ Feingold (D-WI) voted "no".
Due to the fact the Act was passed one day after it was introduced, many members of the legislature did not have time to read it. That fact was very troubling to Michael Moore, who incorporated that fact into his movie , "Fahrenheit 9/11".
Public officials are required to defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Lately, there have been a lot of the latter
One minor example occurred just the other day.
Yesterday, a man apparently drove a car into a barricade near the White House, injuring two Capitol Police officers before hitting the barrier. He got out of the car with a knife, and police officers shot him when he did not respond to their commands. He died. So did one of the Capitol Police officers, an 18-year veteran of the force, Officer William “Billy” Evans. The assailant has been identified as 25-year-old Noah Green of Indiana, and he appears to have feared that the CIA and the FBI were targeting him with mind control.
Not everyone who stormed the capitol is as crazy as Noah Greene, but when individuals get caught up in a mob, rational thought goes out the window.
Fortunately, our law enforcement agencies have become very efficient at identifying threats.
Yesterday, the Washington Post published an article on how a married couple got caught.
Their case is among the more than 1,000 pages of arrest records, FBI affidavits and search warrants reviewed by The Washington Post detailing one of the biggest criminal investigations in American history. More than 300 suspects have been charged in the melee that shook the nation’s capital and left five people dead.
The federal documents provide a rare view of the ways investigators exploit the digital fingerprints nearly everyone leaves behind in an era of pervasive surveillance and constant online connection. They illustrate the power law enforcement now has to hunt down suspects by studying the contours of faces, the movements of vehicles and even conversations with friends and spouses.
The 300 people arrested so far theoretically could claim that their privacy has been invaded, but law enforcement, and the general public, are not going to be sympathetic, since the symbol of our democracy was attacked.
To quote an old phrase, "it you don't want to do time, don't commit the crime".