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News ::
What is the Federal Govt. up to?
04 Apr 2002
H.R. 3482 - goes beyond the PAtriot Act / DOJ wants to expand the National arrestee database / amphetamine's law WOULD ban raves/concerts etc if passed
You thought the PATRIOT ACT was bad? H.R. 3482 GOES WAY BEYOND THE PATRIOT ACT.


Under the USA PATRIOT Act adopted last fall, the communications privacy law was amended to allow ISPs and other system operators (universities, portals, Web hosts) to disclose the private communications of their subscribers or users if the system operator had reason to believe that there was an emergency situation involving an immediate danger of death or serious injury. The exception to the general rule of communications privacy was meant to cover situations where ISPs or others inadvertently discovered communications suggesting an immediate threat.

In fact, reports from large and small providers, universities, and libraries indicate that the provision is not being implemented as originally expected. Instead, providers are being approached by government agents and asked to voluntarily disclose communications or other subscriber information for investigations that the government claims involve a danger to life and limb.

Understandably, many service providers comply with the requests. But there is no oversight of these disclosures - they are not treated as interceptions, so they are not reported to the courts or Congress; the persons whose communications are disclosed are never given notice, even after the investigation is closed (unless, of course, the information is used in court); and service providers are immune (appropriately) from liability for disclosure. Furthermore, the exception doesn't even say that the disclosure must be limited to the communications to or from a suspected terrorist or other criminal - as written, anyone's communications can be disclosed in an emergency.

Section 102 of H.R. 4382 would expand this already broad authority:

* It would allow disclosures to any governmental entity, not just law enforcement agents. That could include literally thousands of federal, state, and local employees.
* It would not require imminent danger for disclosure. It would allow these extraordinary disclosures when there is some danger, which might be considerably in the future and far more hypothetical.

* It no longer requires a reasonable belief that there is a danger on the part of the ISP. Section 102 would allow these sensitive disclosures if there is any good faith belief of danger.

Thus as drafted, Sec. 102 would allow many more disclosures of sensitive communications without any court oversight or notice to subscribers. It would allow these disclosures based on requests from potentially hundreds of thousands of government employees, ranging from local canine control officials to school principals to Agriculture Department cotton inspectors.

CDT believes that the broad expansion would go too far. We urged the committee to maintain the requirements of a reasonable belief in imminent danger. We called for including accountability mechanisms - requiring notice to the subscriber, after the fact (and deferrable based on a judicial order), as a means of providing subscribers with some way of knowing that their communications have been disclosed. And at a bare minimum, we said Congress should mandate a reporting requirement for these emergency disclosures to federal law enforcement, to give Congress and the public some method of evaluating their use.


H. R. 3782 To respond to the illegal production, distribution, and use of methamphetamines in the United States, and for other purposes.


(a) IN GENERAL- The Controlled Substances Act is amended by inserting after section 416 (21 U.S.C. 856) the following new section:


`Whoever knowingly promotes any rave, dance, music, or other entertainment event, that takes place under circumstances where the promoter knows or reasonably ought to know that a controlled substance will be used or distributed in violation of Federal law or the law of the place were the event is held, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than 9 years, or both.'.

(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 416 the following new item:

`Sec. 416A. Promoters of drug oriented entertainment.'.

Justice wants more surveillance funds - including more for National Arrestee Database

see also:,0424-Record.shtm

Categories of Individuals Covered by the System:
Alleged criminal offenders who have been detained, arrested, booked, or incarcerated. The remainder of this notice will refer to all persons covered by the System as ``alleged criminal offender'' or ``arrestee''.

Retention and Disposal:

a. Temporary. Delete from the JABS data base 99 years after the date of the first entry. Disposal pending approval at the National Archives.

b. Fingerprints submitted by law enforcement agencies are removed from the system and destroyed upon the request of the submitting agencies. The destruction of fingerprints under this procedure results in the deletion from the system of all arrest information related to those fingerprints.

c. Fingerprints and related arrest data are removed from the JABS upon receipt of court orders for expunction when accompanied by necessary identifying information.

- Daniel

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