Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Bush Signs Patriot Act ver. 1.5: Broader Warrantless Searches and the Return of Total Information Awareness

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has signed legislation making it easier for FBI agents investigating terrorism to demand financial records from casinos, car dealerships, and other businesses.

The changes were included in a bill authorizing 2004 intelligence programs. Most of the details of the bill are secret, including the total cost of the programs, which are estimated to be about $40 billion. That would be slightly more than Bush had requested.

. . .

In other provisions, the bill:

- Creates a Treasury Department office to work with intelligence agencies on fighting terrorist financing.

- Creates pilot programs to share raw data between agencies.

- Authorizes agencies to continue research on computerized terrorism surveillance suspended by the


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