Among many suggested changes to current law, a draft
Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, prepared by the
Department of Justice, proposes
that the government be allowed to: withhold information previously
made available to the public by the
of Information and
Clean Air Acts;
hold suspects without bail before trial; maintain a DNA database of
suspected criminals; and expatriate citizens. Nicknamed "Patriot II"
because it updates legislation introduced by the 2001
Patriot Act, it was posted on the
Center for Public
Integrity's website in January, 2003.
Section 201 of the draft proposes to amend the 1966 Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA), which provides, with certain exceptions, that
any person has a right to access federal agency records. Under the new
bill, the government would no longer be required under the FOIA to
disclose the identity of anyone detained in connection with a terror
investigation, "until disclosure occurs routinely upon the initiation
of criminal charges." Section 202 of the draft proposes to restrict
the availability of environmental "worst case scenario" reports.
Currently, companies using potentially dangerous chemicals must
provide these under the Clean Air Act, but the draft legislation calls
the reports "a roadmap for terrorists."
Sections 301 to 306 of the draft would authorize creation of a DNA
index of "persons suspected of engaging in terrorism," "persons
conspiring or attempting to do so," "persons suspected of being
members of a terrorist organization," and "certain classes of aliens,"
among others. Current law, under
14132, permits the FBI to index DNA identification records only of
persons convicted of certain crimes.
Section 405 of the draft proposes that law enforcement be allowed to
hold suspected terrorists without bail, before trial.
Section 501 proposes revoking the citizenship of any American who
"with the intent to relinquish nationality, he becomes a member of, or
provides material support to, a group that the United Stated has
designated as a terrorist organization, if that group is engaged in
hostilities against the United States." The section says that "the
intent to relinquish nationality need not be manifested in words, but
can be inferred from conduct."
On February 7, 2003, the Department of Justice issued a
statement saying that the proposal was not final and had not yet
been presented to the Attorney General or the White House.
For more information on the proposed legislation, please see the
analysis or the Center for Public Integrity's
For more information on changes to the law made under the USA Patriot
Act, please see our December, 2002 Hot Topic,
U.S. Court Gives
Justice Department More Power to Wiretap Citizens.