Some of the key provision
Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003
[USAPatriot Act II]
Center for Public Integrity
Section 201, "Prohibition of Disclosure
of Terrorism Investigation Detainee Information":
Safeguarding the dissemination of information
related to national security has been a hallmark of Ashcroft's
first two years in office, and the Domestic Security Enhancement
Act of 2003 follows in the footsteps of his October 2001 directive
to carefully consider such interest when granting Freedom of Information
Act requests. While the October memo simply encouraged FOIA officers
to take national security, "protecting sensitive business
information and, not least, preserving personal privacy"
into account while deciding on requests, the proposed legislation
would enhance the department's ability to deny releasing material
on suspected terrorists in government custody through FOIA.
Section 202, "Distribution of 'Worst
Case Scenario' Information":
This would introduce new FOIA restrictions
with regard to the Environmental Protection Agency. As provided
for in the Clean Air Act, the EPA requires private companies that
use potentially dangerous chemicals must produce a "worst
case scenario" report detailing the effect that the release
of these controlled substances would have on the surrounding community.
Section 202 of this Act would, however, restrict FOIA requests
to these reports, which the bill's drafters refer to as "a
roadmap for terrorists." By reducing public access to "read-only"
methods for only those persons "who live and work in the
geographical area likely to be affected by a worst-case scenario,"
this subtitle would obfuscate an established level of transparency
between private industry and the public.
Section 301-306, "Terrorist Identification
These sections would authorize creation
of a DNA database on "suspected terrorists," expansively
defined to include association with suspected terrorist groups,
and noncitizens suspected of certain crimes or of having supported
any group designated as terrorist.
Section 312, "Appropriate Remedies
with Respect to Law Enforcement Surveillance Activities":
This section would terminate all state
law enforcement consent decrees before Sept. 11, 2001, not related
to racial profiling or other civil rights violations, that limit
such agencies from gathering information about individuals and
organizations. The authors of this statute claim that these consent
orders, which were passed as a result of police spying abuses,
could impede current terrorism investigations. It would also place
substantial restrictions on future court injunctions.
Section 405, "Presumption for Pretrial
Detention in Cases Involving Terrorism":
While many people charged with drug offenses
punishable by prison terms of 10 years or more are held before
their trial without bail, this provision would create a comparable
statute for those suspected of terrorist activity. The reasons
for presumptively holding suspected terrorists before trial, the
Justice Department summary memo states, are clear. "This
presumption is warranted because of the unparalleled magnitude
of the danger to the United States and its people posed by acts
of terrorism, and because terrorism is typically engaged in by
groups many with international connections that are
often in a position to help their members flee or go into hiding."
Section 501, "Expatriation of Terrorists":
This provision, the drafters say, would
establish that an American citizen could be expatriated "if,
with the intent to relinquish his nationality, he becomes a member
of, or provides material support to, a group that the United Stated
has designated as a 'terrorist organization'." But whereas
a citizen formerly had to state his intent to relinquish his citizenship,
the new law affirms that his intent can be "inferred from
conduct." Thus, engaging in the lawful activities of a group
designated as a "terrorist organization" by the Attorney
General could be presumptive grounds for expatriation.