Oct 25, 2021
The Patriot Act: A law that is still governing us after 20 years
despite being almost universally hated. In this episode, we take a
close look at the lesser known parts of the Patriot Act that became
permanent immediately, examine the status of the few provisions
that had to be reauthorized over the years, find out how the law
was crafted in the first place, and see what happened to the
members of Congress who voted for this rights-destroying
Executive Producer: Stephen McMahan
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Patriot Act Overviews
Charles Doyle. April 18, 2002. The
USA PATRIOT Act: A Sketch, RS21203.” Congressional
Charles Doyle. December 10, 2001.
Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT
Act, RL31200. Congressional Research Service.
Anna Mulrine Grobe. October 7, 2021.
“Guantanamo: A former prosecutor’s solution to an ‘unsolvable
problem.’” The Christian Science Monitor.
Jessica Corbett. July 22, 2020.
“ACLU Says Release of Adham Hassoun Confirms US Government Lacks
Power to 'Lock Someone Up Without Due Process.'” Common
Carol Rosenberg. June 29, 2020.
“Judge Rejects U.S. Effort to Hold Palestinian Man After Prison
Term.” The New York Times.
Nino Guruli. February 24, 2020.
“The Unreasonableness of the Citizenship Distinction: Section 412
of the USA PATRIOT Act and Lessons from Abroad.” The
University of Chicago Law Review Online.
Jennifer K. Elsea and Michael John Garcia. March 14, 2016.
Detention Provisions in Recent Defense Authorization
Legislation, R42143 Congressional Research Service.
ACLU. December 31, 2011.
“President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Bill Into Law.”
ACLU. October 23, 2001.
“How the Anti-Terrorism Bill Permits Indefinite Detention of
Credit Reporting Agencies
Ken Sweet. October 6, 2017. “Equifax
Collects Your Data, and Then Sells It.” Inc.
Revenue 2006-2021| EFX.” Macrotrends.
Revenue 2011-2021 | TRU” Macrotrends.
U.S. Code § 1681v - Disclosures to governmental agencies for
counterterrorism purposes. Cornell Law School Legal
Reauthorizations and Expirations
Charlie Savage. August 14, 2020.
“McConnell Appears Set to Quietly Suffocate Long-Debated F.B.I.
Surveillance Bill.” The New York Times.
India McKinney and Andrew Crocker. April 16, 2020.
“Yes, Section 215 Expired. Now What?” EFF.
Charlie Savage. March 27, 2020.
“House Departs Without Vote to Extend Expired F.B.I. Spy Tools”
The New York Times.
Office of the Press Secretary. March 9, 2006.
“President Signs USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization
Act.” The White House.
Steven M. Martinez. April 21, 2005.
“Testimony Before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on
Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.”
“USA PATRIOT Act: Reauthorizations.” Britannica.
ACLU. “The Sun Also
Sets: Understanding the Patriot Act ‘Sunsets.’”
Charlie Savage. January 22, 2021.
“Intelligence Analysts Use U.S. Smartphone Location Data Without
Warrants, Memo Says” The New York Times.
Charlie Savage. December 3, 2020.
“U.S. Used Patriot Act to Gather Logs of Website Visitors”
The New Times.
Charlie Savage. March 31, 2020.
“Problems in F.B.I. Wiretap Applications Go Beyond Trump Aide
Surveillance, Review Finds.” The New York Times.
Byron Tau and Michelle Hackman. February 7, 2020.
“Federal Agencies Use Cellphone Location Data for Immigration
Enforcement.” The Wall Street Journal.
Charlie Savage. December 11, 2019.
“We Just Got a Rare Look at National Security Surveillance. It Was
Ugly.” The New York Times.
Sharon Bradford Franklin. July 25, 2018.
“Carpenter and the End of Bulk Surveillance of Americans.”
Adam Liptak. June 22, 2018.
“In Ruling on Cellphone Location Data, Supreme Court Makes
Statement on Digital Privacy.” The New York Times.
Commission on Security and
Cooperation in Europe
Bill Weinberg. June 15, 2018.
“USA PATRIOT Act Threatens Uruguay Banks Over Legal Cannabis
System.” Cannabis Now.
Bills and Laws
The Patriot Act
TITLE I: ENHANCING DOMESTIC SECURITY AGAINST TERRORISM
Sec. 106: Presidential Authority
- Expanded the authority of the President to "investigate,
regulate, or prohibit" financial transactions to include "any
person, or with respect to any property, subject to the
jurisdiction of the United States."
- Expanded the authority of the President to block transactions
and property of "any person, or with respect to any property,
subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" "during the
pendency of an investigation".
- Expands the authority of the President to confiscate property
"of any foreign person, foreign organization, or foreign country"
when the US has been "attacked by a foreign country or foreign
nationals" and the President can then decide what to do with that
property "for the benefit of the United States."
- These provisions remain in current law as of 10/18/21
TITLE II: ENHANCED SURVEILLANCE PROCEDURES
Sec. 201: Authority to Intercept Wire, Oral, and Electronic
Communications Relating to Terrorism
- Expands the list of suspected actions that can justify the
Attorney General and some subordinates obtaining judicial
permission for wiretaps (a list that has since been expanded
further) to include terrorism related crimes.
Sec. 203: Authority to Share Criminal Investigate
- Allows grand jury information to be shared with "any Federal
law enforcement, intelligence, protective, immigration, national
defense, or national security official" if the matter involves
"foreign intelligence or counterintelligence"
- The government official who receives the information has to
notify the court that it got the information, but that notification
can be in secret and they have to submit it "within a reasonable
time after such disclosure", which is not defined.
- The government official who receives the information is
authorized to share it with "any other Federal law enforcement,
intelligence, protective, immigration, national defense, or
national security official" if it includes "foreign intelligence or
- The procedures for sharing the information was left up to the
Attorney General to decide.
Sec. 205: Employment of Translators by the Federal Bureau of
- Authorizes the FBI to speed up the hiring of translators
Sec. 206: Roving Surveillance Authority Under the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978
- If a person is a "foreign power or an agent of a foreign
power", the government can authorize wiretapping a "common carrier,
landlord, custodian, or other specified person" if the court finds
that the target is using communications that "may have the effect
of thwarting the identification" of the target.
Sec. 207: Duration of FISA Surveillance of Non-United States
Persons Who Are Agents of a Foreign Power
- The warrants can be issued for up to 120 days fi they are for
targeting individuals and can be for up to a year if targeting a
Sec. 209: Seizure of Voicemail Messages Pursuant to
- Allows the government to seize the contents of voicemails using
a warrant instead of a surveillance order, which is a faster method
Sec. 210: Scope of Subpoenas For Records of Electronic
- Expands the information that can be subpoenaed from telecom
companies to include connection records, records of call times and
duration, types of services used, telephone numbers, IP addresses,
and method of payments included credit card or bank account
- This provision had no sunset.
Sec. 212: Emergency Disclosure of Electronic Communications to
Protect Life and Limb
- Allows the telecom companies to provide customer data to the
government if it "reasonably believes that an emergency involving
immediate danger of death or serous physical injury to any person
requires disclosure of the information with delay"
- Allows the telecom companies to provide customer data "to any
person other than a governmental entity"
- Allows the government to require a telecom company to disclose
customer records, which was previously an option decided by the
Sec. 213: Authority for Delaying Notice of the Execution of a
- Allows the government to delay notifying their target about a
warrant if they court finds that the notification "may have an
adverse result" such as an individual fleeing prosecution,
endangerment of someone's life, tampering with evidence, witness
intimidation, or jeopardizing the investigation.
- This provision allowed "sneak and peek" warrants, which allowed
the government to secretly enter - physically or electronically - a
target's property to search, take pictures, copy documents,
download files, etc. as long as they didn't take any property with
- This provision had no sunset.
Sec. 214: Pen Register and Trap and Trace Authority Under
- Eliminates the requirements that trace devices only be applied
to devices and facilities used by foreign persons, so that now they
can be used on devices belonging to US citizens so long as the
devices are likely to provide information related to a foreign
Sec. 215: Access to Records and Other items under the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act
- Authorizes the FBI to order "the production of any tangible
items" for their investigations into international terrorism, as
long as the investigation of a US citizen or company is "not
conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the
first amendment to the Constitution."
- The entity turning over the property can not tell anyone that
they gave the FBI whatever they requested or tell anyone about the
investigation's existence, and in return, the entity that produced
the items "shall not be liable to any other person for such
Sec. 216: Modification of Authorities Relating to Use of Pen
Registers and Trap and Trace Devices
- Requires that the court "shall" authorize the installation of
trace devices "anywhere within the United States" if the court
finds that the government has shown that the information likely
obtained from the devices "is relevant to an ongoing criminal
investigation." The order "shall apply to any personal or entity
providing wire or electronic communication services in the United
- A record must be kept of which officers installed the device,
the date and time it was installed and uninstalled, the date,
times, and durations that the device is accessed for information,
and the information collected from the device. The record must be
provided to the court "under seal" within 30 days "after
termination of the order".
- There was no sunset for this provision.
Sec. 217: Interception of Computer Trespasser
- Allows companies to voluntarily request law enforcement
monitoring of intruders on their networks and authorizes the
government to intercept information transmitted by a "computer
Sec. 219: Single-Jurisdiction Search Warrants for Terrorism
- Allows judges to issue search warrants outside of the districts
where the property to be searched is located.
- There was no sunset for this provision.
Sec. 222: Assistance to Law Enforcement Agencies
- Requires that companies that help the government install
tracing devices authorized by Section 216 on their network be
"reasonably compensated for such reasonable expenditures incurred
in providing such facilities or assistance."
Sec. 223: Civil Liability for Certain Unauthorized
- If a court finds that an employee of the United States has
disclosed information collected improperly, the government has to
conduct a proceeding to determine if discipline is warranted.
Damages can be awarded of at least $10,000 plus litigation
Sec. 224: Sunset
- Sets an expiration date of December 31, 2005 for Sections
203(a), 203(c), 205, 208, 210, 211, 213, 216, 219, 221, and
Sec. 225: Immunity for Compliance with FISA Wiretap
- Provides immunity to anyone who complies with a FISA wiretap,
including private and government persons.
TITLE III: INTERNATIONAL MONEY LAUNDERING ABATEMENT AND
ANTITERRORIST FINANCING ACT OF 2001
Subtitle A - International Counter Money Laundering and Related
Sec. 311: Special Measures for Jurisdictions, Financial
Institutions, or International Transactions of Primary Money
- Authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to require domestic
financial institutions to maintain records and file reports,
including personally identifiable information, about transactions
in a location outside the United States or between foreign
- Authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prohibit or impose
conditions upon accounts being opened in domestic financial
institutions by people from foreign jurisdictions.
Sec. 312: Special Due Diligence for Correspondent Accounts and
Private Banking Accounts
- Requires banks that open accounts for non-US citizens to
investigate the background of the account opener or owner for money
laundering red flags.
Sec. 313: Prohibition on United States Correspondent Accounts With
Foreign Shell Banks
- Prohibits domestic financial institutions from opening or
maintaining accounts for a foreign bank that doesn't have a
physical presence in any country.
Sec. 314: Cooperative Efforts to Deter Money Laundering
- Orders the Secretary of the Treasury to write regulations that
encourage law enforcement and financial institutions to share
information about individuals, entities, and organizations, with a
specific focus on charitable organizations, non-profit
organizations, and nongovernmental organizations.
- A financial institution that shares information that "may
involve terrorist acts or money laundering activities" can not be
held liable "under any law or regulation of the United States" or
of any state or contract and they can not be held liable for
failing to inform their customer that their information was
Sec. 315: Inclusion of Foreign Corruption Offenses as Money
- Expands what qualifies as "money laundering" to include
"bribery of a public official, or the misappropriation, theft, or
embezzlement of public funds by or for the benefit of public
official" and some smuggling and firearm offenses.
Sec. 316: Anti-Terrorist Forfeiture Protection
- An owner of property that is confiscated under US laws that
allow the seizure of assets of suspected international terrorists
can contest that confiscation, but the government can use evidence
against them to justify the confiscation that is "otherwise
inadmissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence" if it finds that
"compliance with the Federal Rules of Evidence may jeopardize the
national security interests of the United States."
Sec. 319: Forfeiture of Funds in United States Interbank
- If funds are deposited by suspect into an account at a foreign
bank that has an account in the United States, the money in that
bank's account -up to the amount deposited in the target's account
- can be held or seized from the bank's account.
- If a foreign bank doesn't terminate their relationship with the
suspect, that foreign bank can be fined up to $10,000 per day until
that relationship is terminated.
- If a convicted criminal hides their property, the court "shall"
order other property up to the value of the missing property to be
Sec. 320: Proceeds of Foreign Crimes
- Expands the government's power to seize property held inside
the United States if the property was obtained via felony drug
offenses if the offense would be punishable by death or more than
one year in prison under the foreign nation's or the US's
Sec. 323: Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
- The government can apply for and the courts can grant
restraining orders to hold property that is the subject of
investigations being conducted by foreign governments as long as
the offense would have been illegal if committed in the United
States. No one can object to the restraining order. The defendant
is no longer required to have received notice of the proceedings in
time to act but instead the foreign court has to "take steps" to
notify the defendant.
Sec. 326: Verification of Identification
- The Secretary of the Treasury has to write regulations that
require banks to verify the identity of their customers and check a
list of suspected terrorists to make sure that those people are not
trying to open accounts at their bank.
Sec. 328: Criminal Penalties
- Any official or employee of the US Federal Government, or any
one who helps them, commit fraud on the United States "shall be
fined in an amount not more than 3 times the monetary equivalent of
the thing of value, or imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or
Subtitle B - Bank Secrecy Act Amendments and Related
Sec. 351: Amendments Relating to Reporting of Suspicious
- Provides immunity to "any financial institution" that makes a
voluntary disclosure of a possible violation of law to a government
- Prohibits the financial institution or anyone in it and the
officers and employees of the Federal Government from notifying the
customer that their suspicious transaction has been reported to the
Sec. 355: Authorization to Include Suspicions of Illegal Activity
in Written Employment References
- Authorizes employees of "any insured depository institution"
(which includes "any uninsured branch or agency of a foreign bank")
to "disclose in any written employment reference" of a current or
former employee information about "the possible involvement" of
that person in "potentially unlawful activity."
- If the information is shared "with malicious intent", the
institution sharing the information can be sued.
Sec. 358: Bank Secrecy Provisions and Activities of United States
Intelligence Agencies to Fight International Terrorism
- Consumer reporting agencies "shall furnish a consumer report of
a consumer and all other information in a consumer's file to a
government agency authorized to conduct investigations of, or
intelligence or counterintelligence activities or analysis related
to, international terrorism when presented with a written
certification by such government agency that such information is
necessary" for the agency's investigation.
- The consumer reporting agency is not allowed to tell the
consumer that the government requested the information or that the
government received it.
- Provides immunity for a consumer reporting agency that complies
with the government request.
Sec. 361: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
- Transforms the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
into a bureau in the Department of the Treasury.
Sec. 363: Increase in Civil and Criminal Penalties for Money
- The Secretary of the Treasury may impose civil money penalties
equal to or more than 2 times the amount of the transaction but not
more than $1 million on any financial institution that violates the
money laundering laws and special measures.
Sec. 365: Reports Relating to Coins and Currency Received in
Non-Financial Trade or Business
- Requires that any coin or currency transaction that is over
$10,000 be reported to FinCEN. The reports must include the name
and address of the recipient, the amount, the date and nature of
the transaction, and the name of the person filing the report.
- This does not apply to any transaction if the entire
transaction occurs outside of the United States.
Subtitle C - Currency Crimes and Protection
Sec. 371: Bulk Cash Smuggling Into or Out of the United
- Creates the crime of "currency smuggling", which is when
someone knowingly conceals more than $10,000 in currency or other
monetary instruments on themselves or in their luggage or
containers and transports it, or attempts to transport it, into or
out of the United States.
- Punishment: Up to 5 years in prison and forfeiture of the money
involved in the smuggling, or an equal amount from the suspect's
Sec. 373: Illegal Money Transmitting Businesses
- Anyone who "knowingly conducts, controls, manages, supervises,
directs, or owns all or part of an unlicensed money transmitting
business" can be imprisoned for 5 years, fined, or both.
Sec. 374: Counterfeiting Domestic Currency and Obligations
- Expands the definition and punishments for counterfeiting to
include analog, digital, and electronic images.
- Lengthens prison sentences for a range of counterfeiting
Sec. 375: Counterfeiting Foreign Currency and Obligations
- Dramatically expands prison sentences for counterfeiting
foreign currencies from single digit year sentences to 20-25
Sec. 376: Laundering the Proceeds of Terrorism
- Expands the applicability of computer fraud offenses committed
outside the United States if they involve devices issued by a
company inside the United States, like a credit card, or if the
defendant used any property within the United States to commit the
TITLE IV: PROTECTING THE BORDER
Subtitle A - Protecting the Northern Border
Sec. 402: Northern Border Personnel
- Authorizes unlimited funds to triple the number of border
patrol agents, customs agents, and INS inspectors on our northern
border along with an additional $50 million to update
Sec. 403: Access by the Department of State and the INS to Certain
Identifying Information in the Criminal History Records of Visa
Applicants and Applicants For Admission to the United
- The Attorney General and the FBI will provide criminal history
records to the State Department
Subtitle B - Enhanced Immigration Provisions
Sec. 411: Definitions Relating to Terrorism
- Adds being a representative of a foreign terrorist organization
as designated by the Secretary of State or being a representative
of an organization that publicly endorses terrorist activity to the
grounds to denial of entry into the United States.
- If the endorsement of terrorist activity has occurred in the
last five years, that person's spouse and children are also barred
from entering the United States (this can be waived by the Attorney
General if it can be proved that the spouse/children didn't know or
has renounced the behavior).
- Defines "terrorist activity"
- "To commit or to incite to commit under circumstances
indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily
- To gather information on potential targets for terrorist
- To solicit funds or other things of value for a terrorist
activity, a terrorist organization (unless the solicitor can
demonstrate that he did not know, and should not reasonably have
known, that the solicitation would further the organization's
- To solicit any individual to engage in terrorist activity or
membership in a terrorist organization (unless the solicitor can
demonstrate that he did not know, and should not reasonably have
known, that the solicitation would further the organization's
- To commit an act that the actor knows, or reasonably should
know, affords material support, including a safe house,
transportation, communications, funds, transfer of funds or other
material financial benefit, false documentation or identification,
weapons (including chemical, biological, or radiological weapons),
explosives, or training for the commission of a terrorist activity,
to any individual who the actor knows, or reasonably should know,
has committed or plans to commit a terrorist activity, or to a
terrorist organization (unless the actor can demonstrate that he
did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the act
would further the organization's terrorist activity.)
- Defines a "terrorist organization"
- A group designated, upon publication in the Federal Register,
by the Secretary of State in consultation with or upon the request
of the Attorney General, as a terrorist organization, after finding
that the organization engages in "terrorist activity" or that the
organization provides material support to further terrorist
- A group of two or more individuals, whether organized or not,
which engages in "terrorist activity"
Sec. 412: Mandatory Detention of Suspected Terrorists; Habeas
Corpus; Judicial Review
- The Attorney General "may" certify that an "alien" is "engaged
in any other activity that endangers the national security of the
- An alien who is certified "shall" be taken into custody by the
- "The Attorney General shall maintain custody of such an alien
until the alien is removed from the United States... such custody
shall be maintained irrespective of any relief from removal granted
the alien, until the Attorney General determines that the alien is
no longer an alien who may be certified"
- If the alien is finally determined to not be removable,
detention "shall terminate" but an alien who has not been removed
"and whose removal is unlikely in the reasonably foreseeable
future, may be detained for additional periods of up to six months
only if the release of the alien will threaten the national
security of the United States or the safety of the community or any
- Judicial review of "any action or decision" relating to this
section ("including judicial review of the merits of a
determination") is available exclusively in habeas corpus
proceedings. Outside of that, "no court shall have jurisdiction to
review, by habeas corpus petition or otherwise, any such action or
- The habeas corpus proceedings that are allowed may be initiated
only by an application filed with the Supreme Court, any circuit
judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia, or "any district court otherwise having jurisdiction to
- The final order "shall be subject to review, on appeal, by the
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit. There shall be no right of appeal in such proceedings to
any other circuit court of appeals."
Section 413: Multilateral Cooperation Against Terrorists
- Allows the Secretary of State to share information with other
countries about "individual aliens" for the "purpose of preventing,
investigating, or punishing acts that would constitute a crime in
the United States"
Subtitle C - Preservation of Immigration Benefits for Victims of
Sections 421-428: Provide leniency to immigrants who were either
direct victims of 9/11 or whose US citizen spouse or parent died on
TITLE V: REMOVING OBSTACLES TO INVESTIGATING TERRORISM
Sec. 501: Attorney General's Authority to Pay Rewards to Combat
- Allows the Attorney General to offer rewards via public
advertisements for assisting the Justice Department to "defend the
Nation against terrorist acts"
- The money can come from "any executive agency or military
- "Neither the failure to of the Attorney General to authorize a
payment nor the amount authorized shall be subject to judicial
Sec. 502: Secretary of State's Authority to Pay Rewards
- Allows the Secretary of State to pay rewards - including
rewards over $5 million - for "the identification or location of an
individual who holds a key leadership position in a terrorist
- The reward limit has since been increased to $25 million, but
higher amounts can be personally authorized by the Secretary of
- Rewards up to $100,000 do not need to be approved by the
Secretary of State
- Current law: "A determination made by the Secretary under this
section shall be final and conclusive and shall not be subject to
Sec. 504: Coordination With Law Enforcement
- Allows Federal officers who conduct electronic surveillance or
physical searches to coordinate with Federal law enforcement
officers to "investigate or protect against" actual or potential
attacks, sabotage, or clandestine intelligence activities by agents
of a foreign power.
Sec. 505: Miscellaneous National Security Authorities
- Authorizes FBI investigators to collect the name, address,
length of service, and toll billing records of telephone, financial
records, and consumer reports of US citizens as long as the
investigation is "not conducted solely on the basis of activities
protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United
- Allows the FBI to obtain records faster using National Security
Letters instead of the previous process where they had to document
specific and facts showing that the person is an agent of a foreign
Sec. 507: Disclosure of Educational Records
- Allows the Attorney General (or high ranking designee) to
request a court order for educational records that are relevant to
investigations into "an act of domestic or international
- The application to the court "shall certify that there are
specific and articulable facts giving reason to believe" that the
records will likely contain information related to their terrorism
- Provides immunity to educational agencies and institutions that
comply with the court orders
TITLE VI: PROVIDING FOR VICTIMS OF TERRORISM, PUBLIC SAFETY
OFFICERS, AND THEIR FAMILIES
Subtitle A - Aid to Families of Public Safety Officers
Sec. 613: Public Safety Officers Benefit Program Payment
- Increases the death or severe disability payment amount from
$100,000 to $250,000
Subtitle B - Amendments to the Victims of Crime Act of 1984
Sec. 621: Crime Victims Fund
- Allocates money specifically to 9/11 victims and ensures that
the payments do not count as income in order to reduce any
government assistance that victim receives.
TITLE VII: INCREASED INFORMATION SHARING FOR CRITICAL
Sec. 701: Expansion of Regional Information Sharing System to
Facilitate Federal-State-Local Law Enforcement Response Related to
- Funds new information sharing networks
TITLE VIII: STRENGTHENING THE CRIMINAL LAWS AGAINST
Sec. 801: Terrorist Attacks and Other Acts of Violence Against Mass
- Sets penalties for attacking mass transportation systems
- For attacks or plots that don't kill anyone or have passengers
on board: Fines and up to 20 years in prison
- For attacks on vessels carrying at least one passenger or that
result in "the death of any person", fines and up to life in
Sec. 802: Definition of Domestic Terrorism
- "The term 'domestic terrorism' means activities that involve
acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal
laws of the United States or of any State; appear to be intended to
intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy
of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the
conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or
kidnapping; and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction
of the United States."
- Current law maintains this definition
Sec. 803: Prohibition Against Harboring Terrorists
- Establishes punishments for anyone who "harbors or conceals any
person who he knows, or has reasonable grounds to believe, has
committed, or is about to commit" a list of terrorism related
crimes. They can be fined, sent to prison for up to 10 years, or
- Any Federal judicial district court can prosecuted these
Sec. 804: Jurisdiction Over Crimes Committed at U.S. Facilities
- Gives the Federal Government jurisdiction over crimes committed
by or against Americans that take place on property used - not
necessarily owned - by the United States in foreign countries and
in the residences used by United States personnel assigned to
Sec. 806: Assets of Terrorist Organizations
- Subjects to civil forfeiture "all assets, foreign and domestic
of any individual, entity, or organization engaged in planning or
perpetrating any act of domestic or international terrorism against
the United States, citizens or residents of the United States, or
their property, and all assets, foreign or domestic, affording any
person a source of influence over any such entity or organization;
acquired or maintained by any person with the intent and for the
purpose of supporting, planning, conducting, or concealing an act
of domestic or international terrorism... or derived from, involved
in, or used or intended to be used to commit any act of domestic or
- The language 'any act of domestic or international terrorism'
has since be changed to 'any Federal crime of terrorism'
Sec. 809: No Statute of Limitation for Certain Terrorism
- Exempts terrorism crimes that result in or created a forseeable
risk of death or serious bodily injury from an 8 year statute of
Sec. 810: Alternate Maximum Penalties for Terrorism
- Increases penalties for crimes
- Arson prison sentences increase from a maximum of 20 years to a
maximum of life
- Destruction of energy facilities increase from a maximum of 10
years to a maximum of 20 years
- Arson or energy facility destruction crimes that result in a
death can be given life sentences
- Material support to terrorists and terrorist organization
prison sentences increased from a maximum of 10 years to 15 years
- Material support to terrorists or terrorist organizations that
result in a death can be given life sentences
- Destruction of national defense material crimes and sabotage of
nuclear facilities or fuel prison sentences increased from a
maximum of 10 years to 20 years
- Destruction of national defense material crimes and sabotage of
nuclear facilities or fuel that result in a death can be given life
- Damaging or destroying an interstate gas or hazardous liquid
pipeline facility crimes prison sentences increased from a maximum
15 years to 20 years
- Damaging or destroying an interstate gas or hazardous liquid
pipeline facility crimes that result in a death can be given life
Sec. 811: Penalties for Terrorist Conspiracies
- Adds people who conspire to commit crimes including arson,
killings in Federal facilities, destruction of communications
lines, stations, or systems, wrecking trains, material support to
terrorists, torture, conspiracy, sabotage of nuclear facilities or
fuel, interference with flight crew members and attendants,
damaging or destroying an interstate gas or hazardous liquid
pipeline facility, and a few others to the list of those who can be
punished with fines and prison sentences.
Sec. 814: Deterrence and Prevention of Cyberterrorism
- Increases the penalty for intentionally damaging a federal
computer from up to 5 years in prison to up to 10 years in prison
(up to 20 years for a repeat offender).
Sec. 817: Expansion of the Biological Weapons Statute
- Establishes a maximum 10 year prison sentence and a fine for
anyone who "knowingly possesses any biological agent, toxin, or
delivery system of a type or in a quantity... that is not
reasonably justified by a prophylactic, protective, bona fide
research, or other peaceful purpose."
TITLE IX: IMPROVED INTELLIGENCE
Sec. 901: Responsibilities of Director of Central Intelligence
Regarding Foreign Intelligence Collected Under Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act of 1978
- Because only the President and Attorney General are able to
initiate a FISA surveillance order, this provision facilitates
information sharing from the Attorney General to the CIA in a way
that ensures that the CIA "Director shall have no authority to
direct, manage, or undertake electronic surveillance or physical
Sec. 905: Disclosure to Director of Central Intelligence of Foreign
Intelligence-Related Information With Respect to Criminal
- The Attorney General or the head of "any other department or
agency of the Federal Government" with law enforcement
responsibilities "shall expeditiously disclose" to the Director of
Central Intelligence foreign intelligence gotten in the course of a
TITLE X: MISCELLANEOUS
Sec. 1005: First Responders Assistance Act
- Creates a grant program where the Attorney General will fund
States and local governments for hiring additional law enforcement
personal dedicated to "intelligence gathering", purchasing spying
equipment such as wire-tap, pen links, cameras, and computer
hardware/software, protective equipment for patrol officers, and
communications operations for improved interoperability among
Sec. 1007: Authorization of Funds for DEA Police Training in South
and Central Asia
- Authorizes $5 million for fiscal year 2002 for "regional
antidrug training in the Republic of Turkey" by the DEA for police
and "increased precursor chemical control efforts in the South and
Central Asia region."
Sec. 1010: Temporary Authority to Contract with Local and State
Governments for Performance of Security Functions at United States
- "During the period of time that United States armed forces are
engaged in Operation Enduring Freedom and for the period of 180
days thereafter", the Department of Defense is allowed to use their
money to contract out security at their military bases in the
United States to local and State governments.
Sec. 1012: Limitation on Issuance of Hazmat Licenses
- The Attorney General will complete background checks at the
request of the States on people applying for a license to transport
Sec. 1016: Critical Infrastructure Protection
- Creates the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis
Sound Clip Transcripts
1:26:29 Rep. Bobby Scott: First of
all, I think it's appropriate to comment on the process by which
the bill is coming to us. This is not the bill that was reported
and deliberated on in the Judiciary Committee. It came to us late
on the floor. No one has really had an opportunity to look at the
bill to see what's in it since we've been out of our offices. The
report has just come to us. And it would be helpful if we'd wait
for some period of time so that we can at least review what we're
voting on. But I guess that's not gonna stop us. So here we go.
1:27:26 Rep. Bobby Scott: This bill
makes three significant changes. One, it reduces s+tandards for
getting a foreign intelligence wiretap from one where it is the
reason you're getting it, to it is a significant reason for getting
the wiretap, much less. Then you wonder, well, if it's not the
primary reason, why are you getting the wiretap? Second, it allows
the roving wiretap so once you find a target, if he's using cell
phones, for example, you can go and find them wherever he is. And
third, you can use the information in a criminal investigation and
the combination gives you the situation where there's very little
standard, and you can essentially conduct a criminal investigation
without probable cause. If you have, for example, a target, who is
using cell phones, you get the the wiretap, he uses a payphone, you
can listen to anybody using the payphone. If he's in a club or
organization, in a business, you can go on you tap the phones
there, if he's visiting the democratic national headquarters, maybe
you can tap all the phones there.
1:29:47 Rep. Bobby Scott: There are
provisions that allow attention under certain circumstances that
may be indefinite, we expand the ability of the government to
conduct secret searches and so called sneak and peek where you
don't tell people they're even being investigated. And you can
start targeting domestic organizations, designated domestic groups,
as terrorist groups and you can start getting the CIA into
designating these groups as targets for criminal investigations.
There's a lot in this bill that we have not appropriately
considered. And that's why we need more time to think of it because
it goes way past terrorism. This is the way you're going to be
conducting criminal investigations and therefore the bill ought to
1:39:09 Rep. Spencer Bachus: You know,
we may not have understood and appreciated the word “terrorism” and
what terrorists were before September 11. We certainly do today. We
know who they are. We know what they're capable of. We may not have
appreciated the need for this legislation before September 11, but
surely today, we appreciate the need for this legislation and the
urgency of such legislation.
1:44:04 Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee: I'm
concerned that the legislation still permits the Attorney General
indefinitely to incarcerate or detain non-citizens based on mere
suspicion and to deny readmission to the United States of such
non-citizens. I'm also concerned that the AG and the Secretary of
State have the power to designate domestic terrorists. You might
simply be paying dues and be declared part of a terrorist
organization. It has widespread investigation of Americans just on
the basis of intelligence purposes. It allows searches of highly
personal financial records, and allows student records to be
searched. I would say this, Mr. Speaker, let us show America's
character and bring forth a bill that all of us will find a good
balance. We'll review this bill but I hope that we'll vote on a
good bill and provide the leadership that we need to lead.
1:46:41 Rep. Marge Roukema: I would
like to say to some of the naysayers that complain about the
provisions, the question as to whether or not they deny due process
or whatever. The question has been asked, Are we endangering the
rights and privacy of innocent Americans? The answer is no. But it
does give our law enforcement officials the requirements that they
need for their careful investigation. It gives our regulators and
law enforcement officials what they need to get the job done.
1:52:25 Rep. Zoe Lofgren: I would also
like to note, however, that there's been a lot of loose language
among people who oppose this bill, and people are perfectly free to
disagree with it, but it's important that we not be incorrect about
what's actually in the bill. I actually heard someone say that the
bill would provide for indefinite incarceration on a mere suspicion
by the Attorney General, that's simply not the case. The Attorney
General may detain persons but he has to certify and he has to have
reasonable reasonable grounds to believe that the individuals have
involved in terrorism and that decision is reviewable by a court.
So that is really the to say it's a mere suspicion and indefinite
is certainly not the case.
2:07:48 Rep. Mel Watt: Some groups in
our country have had their rights violated, trampled on, by the law
enforcement authorities in this country and so we don't have the
luxury of being able to just sit back and give authority, more
authority, than is warranted, the authority possibly to abuse due
process, to law enforcement, even in the context of what we're
going through now. This is a very difficult time. I acknowledge
that it is. But I think we are giving the government and law
enforcement too much authority in this bill.
2:18:15 Rep. Barney Frank: Mr.
Speaker, I don't know how I'm gonna vote on this bill yet, because
I have this notion that in a bill of this weight, I ought to read
it. So what I want to talk about now is my deep disappointment at
the procedure. The gentleman from Wisconsin, the chair of the
committee, has fought hard for a fair chance for the members to
look at things. But on the whole, his efforts have not been
honored. We now, for the second time, are debating on the floor a
bill of very profound significance for the constitutional structure
and security of our country and in neither case has any member been
allowed to offer a single amendment. At no point in the debate in
this very profound set of issues, have we had a procedure whereby
the most democratic institution in our government, the House of
Representatives, engages in democracy. Who decided that to defend
democracy we had to degrade it? Who decided that the very openness
and participation and debate and weighing of issues, who decided
that was a defect at a time of crisis? This is a chance for us to
show the world that democracy is a source of strength, that with
our military strength and our determination and our unity of
purpose goes to continued respect for the profound way in which our
democracy functions. And this bill ironically, this bill which has
been given all these high flying acronyms, it's the Patriot bill,
it's the USA bill, it's that stand up and sing the Star Spangled
Banner bill, has been debated in the most undemocratic way
possible. And that's not worthy of this institution.
2:21:13 Rep. John Conyers: The members
of the judiciary committee, who had a free and open debate, and
then we came to a bill that even though imperfect, was unanimously
agreed on. That was removed from us and we're now debating at this
hour of the night, with only two copies of the bill that we're
being asked to vote on available to the members on this side of the
2:22:18 Rep. John Conyers: Although I
like the the money laundering provisions in the bill, I detest the
work product that bears the name of my committee on it that has now
been joined with this bill. And for this reason, as we close this
debate, my inclination is not to support the bill.
- 2:23:12 Rep. James Sensenbrenner: Mr.
Speaker, this is the latest step in a long process to attempt to
pass a bill and send to the president that is vitally needed. It is
vitally needed by our law enforcement officials, who are fighting
the battle at home. We don't know how this battle will be fought.
We don't know what tactics the enemy will take. We don't know what
agents the enemy will use. And what we need is we need to get the
intelligence necessary to protect the people of the United States
of America from whatever the enemy has planned up its sleeve.
Design by Only Child Imaginations
Music Presented in This Episode
Intro & Exit:
Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on
Music Alley by mevio)