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U.S.A. Patriot Act Basics

  1. Purpose
    • Uniting and strengthening America by providing appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. Became law Oct 26, 2001
  2. Areas of Imapct for University
    • Immigration (Also see SEVIS)
    • International Students
    • Student Education Records
    • Business Records
    • Biological Agents/Toxins
    • Internet Surveillance
  3. International Students
    • Full implementation of 1996 law that permits Federal agencies to collect information from colleges and universities on all non-immigrant foreign students.
    • Can collect student’s name, address, enrollment status, visa class, and discipline arising from a criminal conviction.
    • FERPA does not apply to this information
    • State Department can deny visas for students from Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria whom wish to study in any one of 16 technology-related fields.
  4. Student Education Records
    • FERPA amended to allow Federal officers and employees to obtain court orders for education records relevant to an investigation/prosecution and to retain, use and disseminate the records.
    • No liability for an institution that produces records in good faith in accordance with such an order.
    • Can be required not to keep a record of disclosure.
  5. Business Records
    • FBI can obtain court order requiring production of any tangible things, including books, records, papers, documents and other items for an investigation to protect against international terrorism.
    • Investigation cannot be based solely on activities protected by the First Amendment.
    • Can prohibit any person from disclosing (other than to persons necessary to produce the records) that the FBI sought or obtained the records or other items.
    • No liability for an institution for production of the records or other items in good faith.
  6. Biological Agents
    • Prohibits any person from knowingly possessing any biological agent, toxin, or delivery system of a type or in a quantity that, under the circumstances, is not reasonably justified by a prophylactic, protective, bona-fide research, or other peaceful purpose.
    • Prohibits restricted persons from transporting or possessing in commerce any biological agent or toxin listed as a select agent.
    • Select agents include many varieties of viruses, bacteria, fungi, toxins, and rickettsias.
    • Restricted persons are defined as:
      • Aliens from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Lybia, or Cuba
      • Persons under indictment from a crime punishable by more than 1 year in prison
      • Persons convicted of a crime punishable by more than 1 year in prison
      • A fugitive from justice
      • Unlawful users of any controlled substance
      • Aliens illegally or unlawfully in the USA
      • Persons whom have been adjudicated as a mental defective or have been commited to any mental institution
      • Persons whom have been dischaged from the armed services under dishonorable conditions.
    • Requires background checks of persons working with select agents.
    • Requires an institution ensure that quantities of biological agents, toxins, and delivery systems are reasonably justified.
  7. Internet Surveillance
    • Expands the scope and reach of court orders
      • Trap and Trace
      • Pen registers to obtain Internet Addresses
      • Carnivore to track Internet usage.
    • Person acting under color of law can intercept communications of a computer trespasser to, through, or from a protected computer without a warrant if:
      • Owner authorizes interception
      • Person acting under color of law is lawfully engaged in an investigation
      • There are reasonable grounds to belived that the contents of the computer trespasser’s communications will be relevant to the investigation, and
      • Such interception does not acquire communications other than those to or from the computer trespasser.
    • A computer trespasser is a person whom accesses a protected computer without authorizaion and thus has no reasonable expectation of privacy, and whom does not have an existing contractual relationship with the owner of the computer for access.
    • Internet Service Providers may voluntarily disclose contents of an electronic communication or information about a customer or subscriber if the provider reasonably believes that an emergency involving immediate danger of death or serious physical injury requires disclosure without delay.
    • The government can seek stored voice mail with a warrant, but without a wiretap order.
    • New categories of information have been added to the customer information that ISPs must disclose in response to an administrative subpoena.
  8. Library (Patron) Records
    • Patron records may be obtained through grand jury subpoena, search warrant, or court order.
    • URLs and email headers visited through the use of a library computer may be monitored.
  9. Other
    • A court may issue an oder that is valid anywhere in the United States.

 

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