Security Enhancement Act of 2003
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1)
The Domestic Security Enhancement Act
of 2003 (2)
legislation written by United States Department
of Justice during the George W. Bush administration,
under the tenure of United States Attorney General
John Ashcroft. The Center for Public Integrity
obtained a copy of the draft marked "confidential" on February 7, 2003
and posted it on its Web site along with
commentary. It was sometimes called Patriot II, after the USA PATRIOT Act, which was enacted in
2001. It was never introduced to the United States Congress.
The draft version of the bill would have
expanded the powers of the United States federal
government while simultaneously curtailing judicial review of these powers. Members
of the United States Congress said that
they had not seen the drafts, though the documents obtained by the CPI
indicated that Speaker
of the United States House of Representatives Dennis Hastert and Vice President Dick
Cheney had received copies.
Provisions of the draft version included:
- Removal of court-ordered prohibitions against police agencies
spying on domestic groups.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation
would be granted powers to conduct searches and surveillance based on
intelligence gathered in foreign countries without first obtaining a court order.
- Creation of a DNA database of suspected terrorists.
- Prohibition of any public disclosure of the names of alleged
terrorists including those who have been arrested.
- Exemptions from civil liability for people and businesses who
voluntarily turn private information over to the government.
- Criminalization of the use of encryption
to conceal incriminating communications.
- Automatic denial of bail for persons accused of terrorism-related crimes,
reversing the ordinary common
law burden of proof principle. Persons
charged with terrorists acts would be required to demonstrate why they
should be released on bail rather than the government being required to
demonstrate why they should be held.
- Expansion of the list of crimes eligible for the death penalty.
- The Environmental
Protection Agency would be prevented from releasing "worst case
scenario" information to the public about chemical plants.
- United States citizens whom
the government finds to be either members of, or providing material
support to, terrorist groups could have their citizenship revoked and be deported
to foreign countries.
Some provisions of this act have been
tacked onto other bills such
as the Senate Spending bill and subsequently passed.
The American Civil Liberties Union
and the Bill of Rights Defense
Committee have all been vocal opponents of the PATRIOT Act of 2001,
the proposed (as of 2003) PATRIOT 2 Act, and other associated
legislation made in response to the threat of domestic terrorism that
it believes violates either the letter and/or the spirit of the U.S.
Bill of Rights.
On January 31, 2006 the Center for Public
Integrity published a
story on its website that claimed that this proposed legislation
undercut the Bush administration's legal rationale of its NSA
actual original draft
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