Does the USA PATRIOT Act scare the crap outta YOU??

I heard that the US government is passing or has passed the USA PATRIOT Act that gives sweeping new powers to inteligence agencies.

Doesn’t this effectively take away a lot of your rights & freedoms ?

Please let me know what you think… enlighten a hapless Canuck.

Your friend North of the border,
Patricinus Sciblerus


No What ?!?!???

It’d be easier to list the things this Administration does that doesn’t scare the crap out of me. These people are nuts…


Did you know they’re making a sequel?

Is Harrison Ford gonna star in it?

What scares me is not that it was passed, but that so many in the US seem to think it’s a great idea. That’s one reason I have no great desire to ever move back.


Yes. Yes, it does. It should scare any thinking person who cares about liberty.

If it doesn’t scare you, either you like fascism or you haven’t really thought about the possible future consequences.


Yes… Greatly.

Recently there have been several ads on TV and radio (I’m pretty sure they weren’t only for my locality) that make the public aware that the Patriot Act allowed our government to do things such as unwarranted searches and other invasions of personal liberty.

Hopefully a few people hear them.

It’s always odd to me, after living and breathing American Libraries and all this crazy library listserv culture that everybody else in the world isn’t 1) profoundly aware of the USA PATRIOT act and every library-related implication thereof, and 2) of the same mind about it. Funny, you don’t seem to see much about it on the news and such.

I’m very aware of the library implications for this reason - well, that and my classes have covered it a good deal. But I think that if I had stuck with my old corporate live, I might have been vaguely aware of it, but I don’t think I would have paid much attention to the implications.

But in the librarian world I live in now, I am very aware of it, and I pay a lot more attention to world events than I used to.

Am I worried about it? Yes. Do I wish that it got more attention? Yes. And do all my non-librarian friends know about it? Sure thing - and several of them have made a point of learning more about it so they could argue OR agree with me during discussions.

Nope. Not at all. The terrorists do a little though. They aren’t theoretical. They’re real.

Nope, doesn’t scare me at all. But then again, I’m not a terrorist, so I have nothing to worry about.


Unfortunately, the USAPA will do very little to effect actual terrorists and do a lot to undermine the Constitutionally-protected rights of ordinary U.S. citizens. Why don’t you take the time to actually read the USAPA, and don’t just blithely assume that because our president seems so down-to-earth and folksy that there’s no possibility he’d do anything that would strip rights away from US citizens. He will and he has.


Here’s something to read about why communities are concerned about the USAPA. How the USAPA is being used in criminal cases that DO NOT involve terrorist activity Another cite. Unfortunately, that one is not free anymore.

More links with articles about why the USAPA is a problem:



An NPR feature. Is this example, a defender of the USAPA clearly feels that the civil rights protected by the Constitution impede the ability of the U.S. government to prosecute its war on terror. Damn that pesky Bill of Rights!

Do some research people…the information is not difficult to find, and exists on mainstream news sites.


Moving this to Great Debates.

Both the Patriot Act and Patriot II have been discussed extensively on these boards:

Whats wrong with the PATRIOT act?

Patriot Act

Republicans trying to make Patriot Act permanent

Patriot Act II

Extend PATRIOT Act? Moyers has ‘scoop’

The Patriot Act II: Saving America or Destroying it?

The Patriot Act

The Patriot Act scares me for a number of reasons.

The first reason is that it allows for too much secrecy in the justice system. The justice system has always been fairly open. For example, if you are being searched, it must be approved by someone as a damn good reason and you have a right to know what that reason is. And if it turns out that the system is being abused, you have a way to contest it. And abuses are found all the time. But the Patriot act allows for a huge amount of secrecy in many aspects of criminal investigations. And with that kind of secrecy, there is simply no check on abuse.

Not only does the Patirot Act allow for massive indiscriminate secret surviellance, but it takes away the safegaurds that keep us from ever knowing should that survillence get out of hand- much less ways of contesting it. I really don’t like the idea of huge branches of the government secretly acting on citizens without having to have a reason and without having any way to check on what they are actually doing.

I generally make it a policy not to support giving the government any powers that I wouldn’t want to have, say, Hitler to have. We can’t count on our government always being benevolent, and if someone evil is going to be doing stuff, we shouldn’t lay out the red legal carpet that would make their nefarious plans easier.

My second worry is that the Patriot Act is not at all targeted towards terrorists. Many of the computer related aspects of it are clearly about copy right enforcment prosecution (which I consider the biggest threat to freedom today). The major intellectual property interests have demonstrated quite well that they wish to control the flow of information and are willing to seek absolute control of individual’s computers to get that. It’s a bad scene.

It seems like it could also be used to target protest movements, student groups and others that question the government’s actions. In secret. bad scene.

Yup, I’m scared.