This day ten years ago was a boon for totalitarian and authoritarian governments everywhere. Terrorists help governments increase their power over citizens. Such governments, in turn, take actions which cause the terrorist organizations to gain members and supporters. It’s win–win, unless you’re not part of the government or the terrorists.
In the US, we got the ‘‘Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act.’’ This was 132 pages of law which created nine new sections of US law and amended 108 others. Much of it reads like this excerpt.
COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION.—Section 3127(2)
of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking subparagraph (A) and inserting the following:
‘‘(A) any district court of the United States (including a magistrate judge of such a court) or any United States court of appeals having jurisdiction over the offense being investigated; or’’.
PEN REGISTER.—Section 3127(3) of title 18, United
States Code, is amended—
(A) by striking ‘‘electronic or other impulses’’ and all
that follows through ‘‘is attached’’ and inserting ‘‘dialing, routing, addressing, or signaling information transmitted by an instrument or facility from which a wire or electronic communication is transmitted, provided, however, that such information shall not include the contents of any communication’’; and
(B) by inserting ‘‘or process’’ after ‘‘device’’ each place it appears.
The first version of this massive new act was introduced on October 2nd, only three weeks after the attacks.