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Cato Institute Individual Liberty, Free Markets and Peace
March 9, 2011

The Reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act
By Julian Sanchez

While the statutory definition of "international terrorism" does still require some international nexus, a recent analysis by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University suggests that government entities apply this classification inconsistently with a substantial percentage of cases categorized as "terror related" by the Justice Department not identified that way by courts or federal prosecutors. It is not unreasonable to worry that, without the anchor of a demonstrable connection to a foreign power, it may be used in the future to invoke the sweeping powers of FISA for investigations involving non-citizens that would more properly be classified as ordinary criminal inquiries.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2011
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