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Policy Identification And Explanation Public Law

1906 words - 8 pages

Policy Identification and Explanation
Public Law No. 107-56 Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act [USA PATRIOT Act] of 2001, Section 215 is responsible for access to records and other items under FISA, which stands for the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, this act was implemented during the George W. Bush administration after the September 11th terrorist attacks. These records can be, as listed in the original FISA document are “library circulation records, library patrons lists, book sales records, book customer lists, firearms sales records, tax return records and medical or educational records or anything that would identify a person” (FISA, 1978). Section 215 is simply the striking and replacement of section 501 and 502 of the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 which covers procedures for physical and electronic surveillance and collection of evidence (§). Section 215 is almost exactly the same as FISA sections 501-502, the thing that makes it different is that 215 allows records to be collected on United States person. This means citizens and lawfully admitted permanent resident aliens, and USA founded corporations originally excluded from the collection of these records (+++). FISA was intended for investigations against foreign powers only where as the USA PATRIOT act of 2001 can be used for national investigations against US citizens(++) . The process for gathering the information is still the same, with the first step being The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or a designee of the Director (whose rank shall be no lower than Assistant Special Agent in Charge making an application, which of the thousands of applications turned in since 1978, then it continues to a court, like the FISA court which only works with those applications, then if it is approved, which is very likely due to fact very few applications have ever been denied, the business will be issued a order to release the information required (USA P). After the order is issued, for example at a library, the librarians are not allowed to tell the patrons that their information was requested and if they do they face an un-named federal punishment and a charge of contempt of court (Boulder Library, 2008).
Policy History/Background
The USA PATRIOT Act was passed in October 2001 in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks, in order to prevent future terrorist attacks. This act expanded the executive branch giving it a new arsenal of law enforcement tools to fight terrorism (Massimino, 2006). At the time of the vote for the USA PATRIOT Act, 98 of the 100 senators voted for the act with one Senator not voting and with Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wi) casting the only “nay” vote for the act and the House of Representatives had a vote of 357 to 66 with Rep. Butch Otter from Idaho, Bob Ney from Ohio, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul being the only Republicans to vote against...

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