Since the Patriot Act was passed, administration officials have repeatedly assured the public and Congress that there have not been improper uses of that law. As recently as April 27, 2005, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified that "there has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse."
Documents obtained by EPIC from the FBI describe thirteen cases of possible misconduct in intelligence investigations. The case numbering suggests that there were at least 153 investigations of misconduct at the FBI in 2003 alone.
That's not where it ends:
According to The Washington Post
In one case, FBI agents kept an unidentified target under surveillance for at least five years -- including more than 15 months without notifying Justice Department lawyers after the subject had moved from New York to Detroit. An FBI investigation concluded that the delay was a violation of Justice guidelines and prevented the department "from exercising its responsibility for oversight and approval of an ongoing foreign counterintelligence investigation of a U.S. person."
In other cases, agents obtained e-mails after a warrant expired, seized bank records without proper authority and conducted an improper "unconsented physical search," according to the documents.
I'm ready for the Patriot Act to sunset. It was a law that was hastily put together in the first place and shouldn't pass muster under any real Constitutional scrutiny. I pose the same question Schneier does:
This week marks the four-year anniversary of the enactment of the Patriot Act. Does anyone feel safer because of it?