End Mass Surveillance Under the Patriot Act

1.Obtain intelligence surveillance orders that identify neither the person nor the facility to be tapped.

Section 206, also known as "roving John Doe wiretap" provision, is contrary to traditional search and seizure rules, which require the government to state with particularity what it seeks to search or seize. Section 206 is also scheduled to sunset on June 1, 2015.

2.Conduct secret intelligence surveillance of non-U.S. persons who are not affiliated with a foreign organization.

This takes place under Section 6001 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, or the so-called "Lone Wolf" provision. Such an authorization, granted only in secret courts, is subject to abuse and threatens our longtime understandings of the limits of the government's investigatory powers within the borders of the United States. Section 6001 is also scheduled to sunset on June 1, 2015.

3.Engage in dragnet surveillance of emails sent in the United States.

Section 214 of the Patriot Act expands the government’s authority to collect transactional or addressing information (known as "pen register/trap and trace” searches) without probable cause or suspicion of wrongdoing.  This type of surveillance can include the to, from, and cc lines of emails, and can reveal a detailed roadmap to a person’s internet communications and activities. Section 214 has been used to collect this information about innocent Americans’ emails in bulk.

4.Search your home and not even tell you.

Section 213 allows law enforcement to conduct secret "sneak and peek" searches of your home. Investigators can enter your home or office, take pictures, and seize items. They can do all this without even telling you that a warrant was issued, delaying notice for a very long time or sometimes never telling you at all. 

5.Demand your information from telephone, internet, and credit card companies and bar them from ever telling you.

Section 505 permits the FBI to issue "national security letters" demanding the communications, financial, and credit records of anyone deemed “relevant” to a terrorism investigation even if that person is not suspected of unlawful behavior. National security letters come with a nondisclosure requirement — i.e., a gag order — that precludes courts from determining whether the gag is in fact necessary to protect national security.

6.Label you a "terrorist" if you belong to an activist group.

Section 411 broadly expands the official definition of terrorism, so many domestic groups that engage in certain types of civil disobedience could very well find themselves labeled as terrorists.

7.Monitor your emails and watch what internet sites you visit.

Section 216 permits the government to monitor Internet traffic and email communications on any Internet service provider without probable cause by obtaining detailed "routing" information like a web address. While this provision is supposedly aimed at lawbreakers, it sweeps broadly because emails and Internet traffic information of innocent individuals cannot be separated from the activity of targeted individuals.

8.Take away your property without a hearing.

Section 806 allows the government to seize the assets of an individual or organization without prior notice or hearing if the government says that they have engaged in or are planning an act of "domestic terrorism." Under this law, the government could effectively bankrupt an organization with which it disagrees.

9.Share the private information of innocent Americans with the CIA.

Under sections 203 and 901, the Patriot Act permits a vast array of information gathering on U.S. citizens to be collected and shared with the CIA (and other non-law enforcement officials) without proper judicial oversight or other safeguards. This law effectively puts the CIA back in the business of spying on Americans.

10.Put immigrants in jail indefinitely.

Section 412 permits indefinite incarceration of immigrants and other non-citizens without the government having to show that they are, in fact, terrorists.

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