May 19, 2005

Now this sure is a comforting prospect.

Unhappy with those terribly limited powers granted to federal law enforcement by the Patriot Act, Dubya's administration and Senate GOP leaders have come up with a plan to expand the FBI's power to demand business records without having to ask a judge for a court order.

The proposal, which is likely to be considered next week in a closed session of the Senate intelligence committee, would allow federal investigators to subpoena records from businesses and other institutions without a judge's sign-off if they declared that the material was needed as part of a foreign intelligence investigation.

Translation: The feds would be able to ask for whatever records they want, any time they want, without having to give a reason and without having to let a judge — even a judge on the secret intelligence court — approve their actions.

Further translation: Can we say 'another step toward authoritarian rule'?

Via NY Times. [Free reg. req'd.]

Posted by Magpie at May 19, 2005 03:21 PM | War on Terrorism | Technorati links |