Ashcroft Out of Control
Ominous Sequel to USA Patriot Act
By Nat Hentoff for the Village Voice.
Under the proposed Ashcroft bill reversing that court decision, for the first time in U.S. history, secret arrests will be specifically permitted. That section of bill is flatly titled: "Prohibition of Disclosure of Terrorism Investigation Detainee Information." In Argentina, those secretly taken away were known as "the disappeared."
Moving on, under Section 501 of the blandly titled Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, an American citizen can be stripped of citizenship if he or she "becomes a member of, or provides material support to, a group that the United States has designated as a 'terrorist organization,' if that group is engaged in hostilities against the United States."
The day before yesterday, I was in the inquiry committee for consumer protection
and I explained that privacy had far reaching effects. One example I gave was GRID.
EquifaxEQUIFAX BECOMES CRITICAL LINK IN FIGHTING FINANCIAL FRAUD
Selected to Manage Database That Will Aid Financial Institutions In Tracking Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Other Criminal Activities
The Global Regulatory Information Database (GRIDSM) is a unique solution for financial institutions to conduct automated and enhanced due diligence on entities, individuals and transactions as mandated by federal law. Among other federal and international rules, the recently passed USA PATRIOT Act requires financial institutions to undertake stringent verification processes for existing and new accounts. The GRID database is the first unified attempt by financial institutions to comply with the Act's requirements through a comprehensive database.
Information collected in Japan about Japanese citizens could easily be handed over to GRID by the Japanese government as a gesture of good faith to the US that the Japanese government seems so happy doing these days. GRID will be a global database and will grow to include all kinds of information. For those of you who are unaware of this, money laundering law makes it illegal to hide your money flow from the government, even if you are not doing anything else illegal. So, a warning to those Japanese who have recently sent money to a friend in Iraq, visited Afghanistan, donated money to Greenpeace
or had dinner with a human shield... beware of international travel. You may be on a list that you won't know how to get off of. As a non-citizen of the country you are visiting, you will not even have the rights that US citizens have. These lists are based on profiling, so many things that you do could be construed as: "becomes a member of, or provides material support to, a group that the United States has designated as a 'terrorist organization,' if that group is engaged in hostilities against the United States." Better not to say, do our buy anything if you plan on visiting to the US any time soon.