See former U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft's intentions to use illegal-wiretaps against ordinary U.S. Citizens, going back decades: not only against potential terrorists.
Depending on the legal scheme the U.S. Government devises to let the phone companies off the hook for spying on its Citizens, could set NSA free—to share its “illegally collected wiretap information” with local, state and federal police in order to initiate almost any kind of criminal investigation.
Determining what NSA electronic surveillance can be used by police or introduced into court by the Government, may be the next battle Americans have to fight.
Previously U.S. prosecutors were not allowed access to the Justice Department’s “intelligence files” for domestic criminal prosecutions. In 2003 a court ruling lowered that barrier, allowing prosecutors to review old surveillance. In 2003, Attorney General John Ashcroft asked government prosecutors to review thousands of old intelligence files including wiretaps to retrieve information prosecutors could use in “ordinary criminal prosecutions.”
It is problematic Law enforcement agencies will want to use NSA’s old illegal wiretap evidence and other surveillance to go back perhaps decades to arrest Americans and/or civilly forfeit their homes, inheritances and business using only a "preponderance of evidence" under Title 18 of the United States Code. The Patriot Act specifically mentions provisions passed in Rep. Henry Hyde’s bill HR 1658 "The Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000." HR 1658 included a "retroactive asset forfeiture provision" that applies retroactively to assets already subject to government forfeiture, meaning "property already tainted by crime" provided “the property” was already part of or later connected to a criminal investigation in progress" when HR.1658 passed.
In 2000 after HR1658 passed the “old statute of limitations” died that gave government “five years” to seize property from the actual date a “property” was involved in crime. Police now have five-years to seize property from “whenever police claim” they learned a “property” was made subject to civil asset forfeiture. There are over 200 U.S. laws and violations that can subject property to civil asset forfeiture.
Most U.S. property and business owners that defend their assets against Government Civil Forfeiture claim an “innocent owner defense.” This defense can become a criminal prosecution trap for both guilty and innocent property owners. Any fresh denial to the government when questioned about committing a crime “even when you did not do it” can “involuntarily waive” your right to assert in your defense—the “Criminal Statute of Limitations” has passed for prosecution. Any fresh denial of guild, even 30 years after a crime was committed may allow U.S. Government prosecutors to use old and new evidence, including information discovered during a Civil Asset Forfeiture Proceeding to launch a criminal prosecution. For that reason many innocent American property and business owners are reluctant to defend their property and businesses from Government Civil Forfeiture.
Re: Involuntarily waiving the Criminal Statute of Limitations: see USC18, Sec.1001; James Brogan V. United States. N0.96-1579.
Imagine NSA sharing its illegal-domestic surveillance information with countless American police agencies that are dependent on forfeiting Citizens’ property to pay their department’s operating costs. Police can too easily take an innocent person’s hastily written email or phone call out of context to allege a crime was committed. Imagine U.S. and British Police using the Patriot Act’s low standard of proof “a preponderance of evidence” to judge NSA illegal domestic wiretap information, perhaps to go back before 2000 to civilly seize a Citizen's home, business or other property in the U.S. or Britain.
Increasingly the UK is working with U.S. agents and their informants under "asset forfeiture sharing agreements" to cause civil forfeiture of individual and business assets. Under the USA Patriot Act governed by USC Title 18 asset forfeiture laws, no conviction is required for the U.S. Government to civilly seize and forfeit a person's home, business or inheritance. U.S. Government witnesses can be kept secret while being paid part of the assets they cause to be forfeited. Imagine what Britain could do with no warrant wiretaps and forfeiture laws like this.
See below June 2003 (AP) article regarding former U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft's intentions to use illegal-wiretaps against ordinary U.S. Citizens, going back decades: not only against potential terrorists.
See AP article at: http://www.securityfocus.com/news/5452
"U.S. reviewing old, secret surveillance files in terrorism investigations"
Ted Bridis, The Associated Press 2003-06-04
Jun 4, 7:10 PM (ET) 2003
By TED BRIDIS
WASHINGTON (AP) -
See Complete AP article at: http://www.securityfocus.com/news/5452