Security and Privacy

Setting the Record Straight: An Analysis of the Justice Department's PATRIOT Act Website

October 27, 2003

The Department of Justice has launched a website,, to defend the PATRIOT Act. As more and more people are raising concerns about the broad powers granted to the Justice Department - powers it does not need and is not using to fight terrorism - the Department is spending time and money on a public relations campaign, including a website and a tour of the country by the Attorney General to talk to law enforcement officers. But just as Attorney General Ashcroft has done in his speeches around the country, the website fails to engage on the substantive criticisms of the PATRIOT Act, instead touting provisions that no one objected to at the time the legislation was enacted and that no one has been objecting to since. Where the website does address controversial aspects of the law, it provides misleading, incomplete and, in some cases, incorrect information. Following is CDT's analysis of the claims made on that website.

The following claims appear at

For more information: Jim Dempsey, (202) 637-9800 ext. 112,
Lara Flint, (202) 637-9800 ext. 113,