searching for sensible alternatives


American Civil Liberties Union
Amnesty International
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
CATO Institute
Center for Constitutional Rights
Center for Democracy and Technology
Constitution Project
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Electronic Privacy Information Center
First Monday
Lawyers Committee for Human Rights
National Lawyers Guild
National Security Agency
People for the American Way
Privacy International
Rights and Liberties - AlterNet
Southern Poverty Law Center
U.S. Department of Justice


Declaration of Independence
Bill of Rights
U.S. Constitution
Homeland Security Act of 2002
The Patriot Act
Patriot II - draft


Posters on each page - Copyright 2003, Micah Ian Wright, Visit The Propaganda Remix Project for more information.

Law and Liberty in a
"Secure Homeland"

- Homeland Security-

Civil Liberties in 2003


The USA Patriot Act

The USA PATRIOT Act (the full name is "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism") was written, passed (by a 98-1 vote in the U.S. Senate) and signed into law within seven weeks of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

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The Homeland Security Act of 2002

This act created the Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security and began a massive reorganization of the federal government.

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Government Reorganization

The Department of Homeland Security

The creation of the Department of Homeland Security is the most significant transformation of the U.S. government in over a half-century.

The Department of Homeland Security has a clear and efficient organizational structure with four divisions:

Border and Transportation Security
Emergency Preparedness and Response
Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Countermeasures and
Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection.

Continued Expansion of Government Power?

Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003

This proposed law was reportedly prepared in secret for months while the Justice Department told Congress it had no such legislation in mind. Patriot II became public knowledge when a draft was leaked to Charles Lewis, head of the Center for Public Integrity. Since then the draft has been made publicly available.

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Commentary and Information about "Patriot II"

Center for Public Integrity

Big Brother Gets Bigger

Ashcroft Out of Control - Commentary - Secret Draft of Patriot II

ACLU - Fact Sheet

ACLU - Resources and Action

PBS - Web News

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Center for Public Integrity

Analysis of PATRIOT II - ACLU

Analysis of PATRIOT II - David Cole

Reflection #4

"Alright already! So these "liberals" don't like Ashcroft or the USA Patriot Act. Big deal! REAL Americans will give up a few rights for security. Freedom isn't free!"

Do these comments represent your reaction to the last set of links? Do individual political ideologies lead us to respond to controversial opinions in predicatable ways? Is it easy to discount opposing opinions by personalizing?

For example, "of course they say that, they are _________." (Blank can be filled with "liberal," "conservative," left-wing," "facsist," you name it - or better yet, don't name it.)

Is the truth in there somewhere? Are you concerned about the tendency to "dichotomize" debate by assuming there are just two sides to every question?

Homeland Security

Repeal Now provides a list of USA Patriot Act impacts:

  • FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: Government may monitor religious labor, and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigation.
  • FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: Government has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly detained hundreds of people without charges, and has encouraged bureaucrats to resist public records requests.
  • FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.
  • RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION: Government may monitor federal prison jailhouse conversations between attorneys and clients, and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes. 
  • FREEDOM FROM UNREASONABLE SEARCHES: Government may search and seize Americans' personal records, business documents and telephone/internet activity without probable cause to assist terror investigation.
  • RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL: Government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.
  • RIGHT TO LIBERTY: Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront the witnesses against them.

The following links provide information and commentary regarding the scope and impact of The USA Patriot Act and The Department of Homeland Security.

Facts and Opinion

White House Analysis of Homeland Security Act of 2002

ACLU - Fact sheets and other information

Center for Constitutional Rights - Report

EPIC - History and Other Information

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FNCL) - Links and other information

ACLU - Information and Commentary

Big Brother is Watching

ABA Commentary

Privacy in Cyberspace

Patriot ART

Propaganda Remix Project


Unchecked Power

Implications for Colleges and Universities

Air Travel Privacy

Personal Records

Data Retention

Financial Privacy

Student Privacy

Student Records

Freedom of Association?

Immigrant Detention

Military Tribunals

Search Warrants

Judicial Oversight?

Attorney-Client Communications

ABA - Attorney-Client Relationship

Privacy and Criminal Proceedings

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

FNCL - Erosion of Civil Liberties after 9/11

Corporate Profits

Reflection #5

In what ways do you, as an individual, feel a loss of liberty?

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