Judge Strikes Down Part of Patriot Act
Bad news for the Bush administration (but good news for those who aren’t too happy with the way the administration has chosen to fight terrorism): “A federal judge struck down parts of the revised USA Patriot Act on Thursday, saying investigators must have a court’s approval before they can order Internet providers to turn over records without telling customers.”
US District Judge Victor Marrero said that the (recently rewritten) Patriot Act “offends the fundamental constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers.”
I’m not a lawyer, heck, I’m not even American, but this sounds about right to me from a constitutional perspective. The idea that everything has changed because of 9/11 and that, therefore, the interpretation of laws should be changed – at least to a degree – has always sound foreign (heh) to my ears.
In Germany, we can now see the same debate taking place: some argue that the arrests two days ago prove that the police should be able to wiretap and Intertap people more easily. I disagree: the arrests prove that the government has enough tools to do what’s necessary. The arrest was a success, not a failure.
It’ll be interesting to see what the result of this’ll be, but that it’s another blow for the Bush administration is obvious.