Talk:Controversial invocations of the Patriot Act

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I don't like the Patriot Act. However, this article has major problems with being neutral. Firstly, the title is USA PATRIOT Act abuses. The word "abuses" here denotes that the act is being misused to abuse citizens. This is debatable. The title under which several of the alleged abuses (which I suppose means misuse of the intended purpose of the act) are actually allowable under the act itself. For instance, the first alleged abuse is listed under money-laundering. In the section it even says that "[under] the USA PATRIOT Act, Section 314 is a provision to investigate money-laundering activities. Accordingly, the federal investigators' actions did not exceed the authority of the Act"! The act also allows law enforcement agencies to search and seize ISP records under Section 210: Scope of subpoenas for records of electronic communications. Adam McGaughey committed a criminal act. The use of the act was not in fact a human rights abuse or the misuse of the legal system by authorities to obtain evidence to lead to a conviction (a better link to have a look at in regards to this issue is in a US DOJ press release). This is the same as with the use of the act to catch Terry and Jane Adkins downloading child pornography. While the article states that this is an abuse, it is not in fact an abuse as the stated aim of the act is to "enhance law enforcement investigatory tools", which it did in this case. In fact, some might argue (myself included) that the outcome of that case was a good thing, which the act assisted in!

Patriot Act Titles
Title I: Enhancing Domestic Security against Terrorism
Title II: Enhanced Surveillance Procedures
Title III: International Money Laundering Abatement and Anti-terrorist Financing Act of 2001
Title IV: Protecting the border
Title V: Removing obstacles to investigating terrorism
Title VI: Providing for victims of terrorism, public safety officers and their families
Title VII: Increased information sharing for critical infrastructure protection
Title VIII: Strengthening the criminal laws against terrorism
Title IX: Improved intelligence
Title X: Miscellaneous

I would like to know more about the homeless conviction using the act. I haven't actually read the article as yet, but if it is the case that it was misapplied, then this would be an abuse committed under the act.

Finally, I have a big problem with the title "Distasteful prosecutions". The word "distasteful" (which it does appear to be to me) is not a neutral term: it implies we are holding a position on the prosecutions. This goes against the neutral POV policy.

C'mon people! We do ourselves no credit by having a non-neutral article! If the act is allowing abuses this will speak for itself. We just need to document the facts and not make judgements. - Ta bu shi da yu 12:36, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Don't sit around arguing semantics on the discussions page if you think they're NPOV, just go ahead and change them. I'm changing "distasteful" to "controversial". If someone feels that "controversial" is somehow inappropriate, just change it to "questionable" or whatever. --Elfer 00:31, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm not. In case you haven't noticed, I'm dealing with explanations of the core titles of the Act before dealing with controversies. After all, there is a cast of thousands who aer willing to highlight abuses (a good thing!), but very few who actually read the Patriot Act. - Ta bu shi da yu 10:43, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
You are looking at a one of the few remaning sections of the original Patriot Act article: "Bush is evil. The Patriot Act is evil. Big Brother is out to get you!"
I added the comments to most of the abuses that explain that the situation is actually not an abuse. I gave up when fixing up the Terry Adkins case. Apparently, Zephram Stark is a Terry Adkins fan. He pitched an unholy fit every time I added any comment about Terry admitting guilt. It was his goal to portray Adkins as an innocent man gunned down by the system. So, I actually got to the point that I stopped using Wikipedia. Then, I received multiple emails telling me that Zephram was banned for six months. So, I'm back. --Kainaw (talk) 14:23, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
Hey, good to see you back then :-) Any chance of assisting me with title summaries?
Due to the fact that it appears the NPOV debate has been resolved, and there has been no new activity for a month, I am removing the NPOV tag. There was also some weird vandalism added (Testing?) by an anon IP address that can be found here. Ecopirate 08:23, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Purpose of article?[edit]

I think above posters raise a good question. It is a significant question whether this article is intended to address

  • abuses of Patriot Act beyond its intended limits
  • expected uses of Patriot Act to work around Constitutional Rights, especially those in the Bill of Rights

The first topic would focus on cases on the very fringes of the Patriot Act, where people go further than was expected.

The second topic would focus on how the Patriot Act is used to ignore/bypass Constitutional rights (and in this case, shouldn't there be a discussion of how it is used as a justification for the suspension of habeas corpus?)

Removal of ACLU lawsuit[edit]

There is mention of an ACLU lawsuit that I am removing. It does not belong where it is because it has nothing to do with the case it is following. The author(s) of the section incorrectly summarized the case. This made it appear that the ACLU lawsuit was related. However, the ACLU lawsuit is about using the PATRIOT ACT to force businesses to hand over documents. The case mentioned in the article is about forcing businesses to preserve articles. The text is in the page's history, so it can be copied to a more appropriate place. --Kainaw (talk) 01:50, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Hey. I saw your edit here after my second comment on your talk page, and assumed you weren't reintroducing the grafs. Sorry if I stepped on your toes. I've added your edited ACLUcentric text to the opposition subhead, thus preserving both your edits and my new subheads. The rest of your edits are spiffy.
Adrian Lamo · (talk) · (mail) · 02:08, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I want to state that the DoJ refused the request for a subpoena. I have found statements that they refused other subpoena requests in this case (specifically the one to MSNBC). But, I can't find anything that states this specific request was denied. I want it because I can add the following: "The Department of Justice refused the subpoena request along with other requests to subpoena the media in this case." Right now, adding that other subpoenas were requested is easily a railroading technique - if they were wrong somewhere else, they must be wrong here. --Kainaw (talk) 02:14, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I rewrote it again to cover all of the requests made, not just the 12 writers. That allowed me to state that all subpoenas were denied. Please let me know if I've overlooked anything. The articles about this conflict with one another, so I have to make assumptions about what some of them mean. --Kainaw (talk) 14:26, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Large amount of text removed[edit]

I have reread the article and have removed several sections because they weren't relevant or were poorly sourced. - Ta bu shi da yu 14:56, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

  • In the future, you may wish to use the {{ fact }} tag to indicate sections or sentences you considered "poorly sourced" instead of arbitrary deletion. This will insert the phrase [citation needed] behind the text in question.The original text of one section you deleted clearly referenced the New York Times in September 2003, a simple Google search was able to provide a full citation in a minimal amount of time. FinFangFoom 18:16, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
    • Thank you for telling me how to use {{fact}}, however as I was the creator of the template I really don't need such instruction. I'd like to point out that this article hasn't been touched in ages, therefore I saw no need to add the template. - Ta bu shi da yu 12:01, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Removal of a section title, modification of others[edit]

I have done two things:

1. Removed the "outside the Act's scope" section as the section had the following:

"The stated purpose of the Act is to "deter and punish American terrorists in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and for other purposes." One criticism of the Act is that "other purposes" often includes the detection and prosecution of non-terrorist alleged future crimes."

If the Act states that it is to be used for "other purposes", then by this definition it is not outside its own self-defined scope.

2. Removed the word "allegedly" from several section titles: if you are investigating something then obviously the crimes are only alleged. Otherwise, why would you need to investigate further?!? - Ta bu shi da yu 12:25, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Firing Judges[edit]

In many articles on Wikipedia there is a claim that the Patriot Act was used to fire Federal Judges. How? The change that is references states that the Executive Branch can appoint an interim judge should a vacany appear while Congress is not in session. It has nothing to do with firing judges. Please, get the facts straight or reference something that has to do with firing judges, not appointing them. --Kainaw (talk) 01:13, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

It's not judges, its United States Attorneys, sometimes called Federal District Attorneys, and they serve at the pleasure of the President and always have. I fixed the text in the article which was desperately wrong. See the article Dismissal of U.S. Attorneys controversy. Please list all of the other articles that talk about "interim judges" and "firing judges" --those articles are absolutely wrong. -- Yellowdesk 22:38, 7 May 2007 (UTC)


compare —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:58, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

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