Bloated Patriot Act a political Christmas tree?

Bloated Patriot Act a political Christmas tree?

Summary: Worth reading: Declan McCullagh writes about the proposed renewal of the Patriot Act, describing the 219-page conference report as a political version of a Christmas tree, ornamented with dozens of senators' pet projects. Here's a sample of the ornaments tacked on to the Patriot Act: Reduces the amount of contraband cigarettes that qualifies as a federal crime.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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Worth reading: Declan McCullagh writes about the proposed renewal of the Patriot Act, describing the 219-page conference report as a political version of a Christmas tree, ornamented with dozens of senators' pet projects. Here's a sample of the ornaments tacked on to the Patriot Act:

Reduces the amount of contraband cigarettes that qualifies as a federal crime. The number drops from 60,000 cigarettes to 10,000.

Creates a new federal crime of photographing or videotaping bridges, garages, tracks, warehouses, or other facilities used by railroads, boats, or airplanes--if such recordings were made with the intent of doing harm. Anyone attacking anyone else near such facilities with a weapon--the list includes "a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2 1⁄2 inches in length and a box cutter"--can be punished with stiff prison terms and even the death penalty.

Increases electronic surveillance of visitors and tourists by ditching a requirement that a surveillance target must be an agent of a "foreign power." Extends electronic monitoring of visitors' and tourists' Internet activities and telephone dialing habits from 90 days to one year.

Boosts criminal penalties: Possessing methamphetamine for distribution to a minor yields a prison term of up to 20 years. Requires a "feasibility study" of a new federal drug court, and funds mandatory drug testing.

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • I know what many will ask

    I know what many will ask: Is it worth the costs?
    CobraA1
  • Oh good. Take a picture, go to jail.

    How can taking the photo of a bridge be of harm to anyone? And define 'harm'.

    Truth becomes a variable commodity when it comes to "safety" concerns (I'm sure the victims of Katrina, et al, realize a lot more than they used to), and I use the word "commodity" quite accurately.

    Whatever. Make it a crime to breathe within 50 miles of a power plant. That way, we all get locked up - which seems to be what they want.
    HypnoToad
  • Make everybody a criminal

    Am I the only one who realizes that making citizens criminals is how fascist governments are formed and stay in power? Germany was in no way a fascist State before Hitler...it just sort of happened little by little. Nobody wanted to speak-up or get involved just like in America now. Dissent is unpatriotic didn't you know? You don't think it could ever happen here? Read your history unless you went to a public school, then find somebody to read it to you :).
    Art Royce