4/05/2005

FYI: Patriot Act provisions that are due to expire

From the AP:
Several provisions of the USA Patriot Act expire on Jan. 1, 2006, if not renewed by Congress:
* Section 201 -- Gives federal officials the authority to intercept wire, spoken and electronic communications relating to terrorism.
* Section 202 -- Gives federal officials the authority to intercept wire, oral, and electronic communications relating to computer fraud and abuse offenses.
* Subsection 203(b) -- Permits the sharing of grand jury information that involves foreign intelligence or counterintelligence with federal law enforcement, intelligence, protective, immigration, national defense, or national security officials
* Subsection 203(d) -- Gives foreign intelligence or counterintelligence officers the ability to share foreign intelligence information obtained as part of a criminal investigation with law enforcement.
* Section 204 -- Makes clear that nothing in the law regarding pen registers -- an electronic device which records all numbers dialed from a particular phone line -- stops the government's ability to obtain foreign intelligence information.
* Section 206 -- Allows federal officials to issue roving "John Doe" wiretaps for spy and anti-terrorism investigations.
* Section 207 -- Increases the amount of time that federal officials can watch people they suspect are spies or terrorists.
* Section 209 -- Permits the seizure of voicemail messages under a warrant.
* Section 212 -- Permits ISP (Internet service providers) and other electronic communication and remote computing service providers to hand over records and e-mails to federal officials in emergency situations.
* Section 214 -- Allows use of a pen register or trap and trace devices -- a device records the originating phone numbers of all incoming calls on a particular phone line -- in international terrorism or spy investigations.
* Section 215 -- Authorizes federal officials to obtain "tangible items" like business records -- including those from libraries and bookstores --for foreign intelligence and international terrorism investigations.
* Section 217 -- Makes it lawful to intercept the wire or electronic communication of a computer hacker or intruder in certain circumstances.
* Section 218 -- Allows federal officials to wiretap or watch suspects if foreign intelligence gathering is a "significant purpose" for seeking a FISA (Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act) order. The pre-Patriot Act standard said they could ask for the surveillance only if it was "the" sole or main purpose.
* Section 220 -- Provides for nationwide service of search warrants for electronic evidence
* Section 223 -- Amends the federal criminal code to provide for administrative discipline of federal officers or employees who violate prohibitions against unauthorized disclosures of information gathered under this act.
* Section 225 -- Amends FISA to prohibit lawsuits against people or companies that provide information to federal officials for a terrorism investigation.

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