People across the country are questioning the provisions of the infamous PATRIOT Act and demanding that it be corrected. Congress is responding to this concern and has begun re-considering many of the government powers expanded under the PATRIOT Act -- like the use of "black bag" searches.
Instead of listening to these widespread concerns, however, some Members of Congress are promoting a new measure -- the so-called "Victory Act"" -- that contains numerous provisions previously rejected by Congress.
This proposed bill would expand police surveillance powers and significantly infringe on the privacy of innocent people. It would treat drug offenses as terrorist crimes, create incentives for government agents to conduct illegal searches and remove constitutional protections on government investigations.
Take Action! Urge your Members of Congress to oppose the so-called "Victory Act."
This bill would allow the government to use illegal evidence in court in a wiretap or Internet eavesdropping cases.
The Victory Act would allow evidence to be introduced into court cases even if it was gathered in an illegal manner. This would give federal agents the incentive to overreach the scope of their investigations and use improper surveillance techniques. Innocent people would inevitably be spied upon and investigated without proper court review.
This act would tie drug possession to terrorism sponsorship.
The Victory Act would create a new federal crime of "narco-terrorism" that would bring mandatory penalties of 20 years to life imprisonment for the possession, manufacture, distribution, import or export of any amount of any controlled substance that "directly or indirectly" aids a "terrorist organization." Under this provision, low-level drug offenders could face life imprisonment for buying or selling drugs to people unknowingly connected with a terrorist organization.
The act would violate constitutional protections against unwarranted searches.
The Department of Justice could require a person to appear in their offices to produce records and answer questions without a warrant or oversight by the courts. This would remove key judicial review and create a situation prone to abuse.