The Homeland Security Act.
Below is a wealth of information you should be aware of:
Liberties With Our Freedom
"While it has some positive aspects, the Homeland Security Act is also full of worrisome surprises for U.S. citizens concerned about their freedoms, particularly when combined with last year's USA PATRIOT Act.
Since the events of 9/11, a range of legislation detrimental to fundamental freedoms and privacy rights has been rammed into law, without any assurance that our safety will improve as a result.
Law enforcement interests pushed through a variety of surveillance measures, including some unrelated to terrorism, that had long been rejected as inappropriate in a free society.
Important protections related to monitoring and intelligence gathering, established after serious past abuses, were swept away with the assurance that this time the government won't abuse its powers.
Among various alarming provisions, the law opens up enormous avenues for monitoring Internet communications, without even after-the-fact notifications. Virtually any government agency at any level can initiate surveillance on flimsy grounds. No subpoenas or court oversight are required.
Not to be left off the gravy train, big business also pushed through its own grab bag of perks in the new legislation.
One of the most egregious and potentially dangerous of these travesties is the Homeland Security Act's creation of new and very broad exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act.
Businesses now have a new way to evade liability for safety violations, hazards to consumers and other abuses. They need merely report the information about their behavior -- even totally unclassified activities -- to the federal government, and claim it's related to homeland security. In the parlance of the Homeland Security Act, they declare the data to be "CII," or Critical Infrastructure Information....................................................................................."
|The Homeland Security
Monstrosity ~ Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)
Congress spent just a few short hours last week voting to create the biggest new federal bureaucracy since World War II, not that the media or even most members of Congress paid much attention to the process. Yet our most basic freedoms as Americans – privacy in our homes, persons, and possessions; confidentiality in our financial and medical affairs; openness in our conversations, telephone, and internet use; unfettered travel; indeed the basic freedom not to be monitored as we go through our daily lives – have been dramatically changed.
|American Privacy at Risk: HOMELAND SECURITY ACT
"Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and every event you attend - all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as "a virtual, centralized grand database."
To this computerized dossier on your private life from commercial sources, add every piece of information that government has about you - passport application, driver's license and bridge toll records, judicial and divorce records, complaints from nosy neighbors to the F.B.I., your lifetime paper trail plus the latest hidden camera surveillance - and you have the supersnoop's dream: a "Total Information Awareness" about every U.S. citizen.
This is not some far-out Orwellian scenario. It is what will happen to your personal freedom in the next few weeks if John Poindexter gets the unprecedented power he seeks."
© All content copyright Johnny Philko. 2003