AOH :: PT-1265.HTM

Justice Department predicts dire "consequences, " "confusion, " without Patriot Act

Justice Department predicts dire "consequences, " "confusion, " without Patriot Act
Justice Department predicts dire "consequences, " "confusion, " without Patriot Act

Of course only a minority of the law's sections are set to expire, but 
it's difficult to fit that into a Subject: line.

Previous Politech messages: 

CDT's response to DOJ -- no "dire consequences": 


                                                 (202) 514-2007

                                                 TDD (202) 514-1888

*******FACT SHEET*******

Consequences of Letting the USA PATRIOT Act Expire

If the USA PATRIOT Act is allowed to expire, we will return to a 
pre-9/11 mode of information sharing where there are not clear rules 
governing investigators' ability to share information with each other, 
where terrorists and spies can use technology against us, and where it 
is more difficult to investigate a potential terrorist attack that it is 
to catch a drug dealer, a mobster, or a white collar criminal.

For example:

*	Confusion will once again be injected into the questions about what 
and how information may be shared between criminal investigators and 
intelligence personnel.

*	Investigators would possibly be several steps behind sophisticated 
terrorists and spies who frequently change phones to evade surveillance.

*	In the vast majority of cases, intelligence investigators will no 
longer be able to trace the calls of terrorists and spies.

*	It will once again be illegal for a law enforcement officer who learns 
of an imminent terrorist threat through a wiretap to disclose that 
threat to our nation's intelligence agencies without first obtaining a 
court's approval.

*	American companies will not be able to ask law enforcement to assist 
in disrupting and investigating a cyber attack.

*	An Internet service provider that voluntarily discloses to the police 
an e-mail threatening an imminent terrorist attack can once again be 
sued for doing so.

*	Investigators will no longer be able to use the Foreign Intelligence 
Surveillance Act's investigative tools to pursue "lone wolf" terrorists.

More specific consequences include:

Sections 201 and 202-Wiretap predicates:  These sections provided 
authority for wiretaps relating to certain offenses that terrorists are 
likely to commit (e.g. material support of terrorist organizations, 
chemical weapons offenses, and using weapons of mass destruction) to the 
list of predicate offenses in the federal wiretap statute (18 USC =A7 
2516(1)).  They also added offenses under the Computer Fraud and Abuse 
Act (including computer espionage) to the list of predicate offenses in 
the federal wiretap statute.  If the provisions sunset, investigators 
seeking to prevent these kinds of high consequence offenses will no 
longer be able to use wiretaps to do so.

Section 203(b) and (d)-Criminal-derived Information Sharing:  If this 
section sunsets, critical foreign intelligence information discovered 
through wiretaps or other criminal investigative methods cannot be 
shared from law enforcement investigators to intelligence personnel 
absent a court order-severely constraining our intelligence agencies' 
ability to "connect the dots."

Section 206-Roving Wiretaps:  Without this authority, the Foreign 
Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court would be unable to authorize 
investigators to maintain surveillance when a terrorist or spy engages 
in a staple of intelligence tradecraft: switching phones and 
telecommunication providers.  Sophisticated terrorists and spies could 
more easily thwart government surveillance.

Section 207-FISA Surveillance:  Section 207 provided an extended 
duration for certain FISA electronic surveillance and physical search 
orders and renewals.  This small but important change has saved tens of 
thousands of man-hours since its passage.  Moreover, institutional or 
procedural improvements implemented in reliance on this provision will 
no longer be available.  It is likely that a reversion to the old 
duration could create a significant disruption in foreign intelligence 

Section 212-Emergency Disclosure of Information:  This section protects 
Internet service providers (ISP's) that disclose customer records to law 
enforcement in emergencies involving immediate risk of death or serious 
physical injury.  This provision has been critical in situations 
involving bomb threats, rescuing both children and an elderly lady who 
had been kidnapped, and reaching out to individuals who have made 
suicide threats.  This provision has saved lives.

Sections 214 and 215-Pen Registers and Business Records:  If these 
provisions expire, the pre=ADexisting authorities to request pen registers 
and orders to disclose business records would be virtually useless in 
the great majority of terrorism investigations.

Section 218-Breaking Down "The Wall":  Expiration would create immediate 
uncertainty about the legality of information sharing, coordination, and 
cooperation between national security and law enforcement personnel. 
While some activities may continue to be permissible under other 
provisions of law, the practical impact could be an end to such 
cooperation while an assessment is made of what is and is not 
permissible, reversing the progress that has been made in this area 
since September 11, 2001.

Section 220-Nationwide Search Warrants: If this provision expires, 
federal judges will no longer be able to issue nationwide search 
warrants (i.e. allow a judge to issue warrants for searches to be 
conducted outside his district) to obtain unopened e-mails stored on an 
ISP's computer server, greatly hampering certain investigations 
involving large ISP's.

Section 6001 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 
2004-The "Lone Wolf" Provision:  Investigators' ability to use FISA's 
investigative tools to pursue individual terrorists intending to commit 
acts of international terrorism was added after the USA PATRIOT Act but 
was tied to the Act's sunset provision, and this authority will expire 
on December 31, 2005 unless it is reauthorized.


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