Monday, March 05, 2007

Fwd: Lieberman's 9/11 police state bill set for vote

Lieberman's 9/11 police state bill set for

Before the Presidents' Day recess, Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Israel)
quickly and quietly pushed through his Senate Homeland Security
the "Improving America's Security by Implementing Unfinished
of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007." [OFFICIAL PDF
258-page bill is Lieberman's version of the police-state measure which
was the first item to pass the U.S. under Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The full Senate is set to take up the measure on the floor in the
week or two. To tell your Senators to oppose and filibuster this
legislation, the number for he Congressional switchboard is as

Civil liberties experts inside Washington have pointed
Total911.infoto the following provisions in particular as troubling:

- Section (j)(1)(a-c) of the bill would have President Bush
produce a
report within six months on whether it is "feasible" to continue
to protect
the privacy rights of Americans.

The President would recommend whether provisions of the 1975
Act which bar federal agencies from sharing information on
Americans with
each other willy-nilly should be "replaced" with so-
called "mission-based"
or "threat-based" access to information about Americans, defined
by whether the information is wanted for an "authorized purpose",
which the
Executive Branch gets to define and decide for itself. If the bill
were to
pass in current form, we could expect a report before the end of
the year
recommending the destruction of the Privacy Act, the cornerstone
of federal
privacy protections.

- Section (j)(1)(d) of the bill calls for a report that would
legitimize data-mining of information about Americans by
normalizing the use
of "anonymized data." This may sound pro-privacy but it really
only means
"encrypted," which means that private information about Americans
is not
really "anonymous." Such data can be decrypted by numerous
government agents
as desired.

- The so-called "Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board" would
remain a joke. Title V of S.4 exacerbates the serious problems of
Privacy Board recommended by the 9-11 Commission. This arm of the
Office of the White House would now be authorized to review and
comment on
not just "regulations, executive branch policies, and
procedures " -- but
legislation proposed in Congress as well!

The confirmation process proposed in Lieberman's bill is a joke as
well. If a nominee is denied a vote in committee or delayed in the
Senate, the nominee to continue to serve for up to a year at a
Lieberman's plan also allows a partisan majority to be a quorum
for action
and allows the president to set the terms for each of the members,
entrenching this Bush board firmly into some or all of the next

- Lieberman would also give the "Privacy Board" a subpoena power --
but not over privacy-violating government agencies! A majority of
the Board
could request that the Attorney General issue a subpoena to
persons "other
than departments, agencies and elements of the executive branch."

- Lieberman's bill would fund so-called "fusion centers" for
intelligence at the state and local not just for alleged "terror"
but, under Title I Subtitle B, any "criminal or terrorist
activity." This is
just a mechanism for the Department of Homeland Security to gather
information on Americans through sweeping up the files of local
and state
law enforcement agencies.

Labels: police state<

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