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Diane Publishing Books
Government Colleciton of Privae Informaton: Background and Issues Related to the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization
Anna C. Henning (au); Elizabeth B. Bazan (au); Charles Doyle (au); Edward C. Liu (au)
Congress enacted the USA PATRIOT Act soon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The most controversial sections of the Act facilitate the federal governmentís collection of more information, from a greater number of sources, than had previously been authorized in criminal or foreign intelligence investigations. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), and the national security letter (NSL) statutes were all bolstered. With the changes came greater access to records showing an individualísspending and communication patterns as well as increased authority to intercept e-mail and telephone conversations and to search homes and businesses. Subsequent measures made most of the USA PATRIOT Act changes permanent. However, three authorities affecting the collection of foreign intelligence information are set to expire onDec. 31, 2009: the lone wolf, roving wiretap, and business record sections of FISA. The impending expiration date has prompted legislative proposals which revisit changes made by the USA PATRIOT Act and related measures. In addition to the expiring provisions, pending bills address a range of issues, including nationalsecurity letters, minimization requirements, nondisclosure requirements (gag orders), interception of international communications, and retroactive repeal of communication provider immunity for Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) assistance. This report surveys the legal environment in which the legislative proposals arise.
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