Abuse the PATRIOT Act? Never!

Fang-Face writes "Michael Isikoff, of Newsweek, has an article reprinted at Truthout.org about the feds using the PATRIOT Act to get financial records in a manner that would otherwise be clearly illegal. He wrote in part:

In Las Vegas, the Feds used a little-known provision in the Patriot Act that allows them to quickly obtain financial records of suspected terrorists or money launderers. Law-enforcement agencies can submit the name of any suspect to the Treasury Department, which then orders financial institutions across the country to search their records for any matches. If they get a "hit"—evidence that the person has an account—the financial institution is slapped with a subpoena for the person’s records.

The Feds might have gotten the same records even without the new law—but only if they had hard evidence that a suspect was doing business at a particular bank. In effect, the Patriot Act allows the Feds to search every financial institution in the country for the records of anybody they have suspicions about—the very definition, critics say, of a fishing expedition.

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Abuse or Law?

Two points:First, section 314 clearly stipulates that financial institutions may "share" information on individuals and organizations "suspected of possible terrorist or money laundering activities" with law enforcement.Second, is the Patriot Act any different than say, RICO? NOW certainly used this law, which was written for an entirely different purpose, to their advantage nearly 20 years ago.BTW I'm anxiously awaiting your attack of the narrow-minded, fanatical tandem in"'Huck Finn' a masterpiece -- or an insult".

Syndicate content