"Patriot Act II" Draws Concern From Civil Rights Community

February 26, 2003

Source: India-West


On February 26, 2003 India-West reported that "the Center for Public Integrity Feb. 9 published on its Web site a secret draft of the 'Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003,' or 'Patriot Act II,' as some within the Justice Department have called it. The new legislation would give the U.S. attorney general and the Bush administration sweeping powers concerning domestic intelligence-gathering, surveillance and law enforcement, while simultaneously decreasing judicial review and public access to information, according to the Center for Public Integrity... The civil rights and education committees of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area and the Commonwealth Club of California sponsored a public forum here Feb. 13 to encourage a closer look at the government's war on terrorism. A panel of legal experts discussed various aspects of the new laws, including how they affect the indefinite detention of non-citizens; federal and local telephone and Internet surveillance; secret search and seizures; broad access to financial and personal information; targeting of Arab, Muslim and South Asian immigrant communities; large-scale investigations of U.S. citizens for 'intelligence' purposes; and the designation of certain activist groups as 'domestic terrorists.'"