EMERGENCY DISCLOSURE PROVISION OF THE U.S.A. PATRIOT ACT
Counterterrorism Exec Willie Hulon Talks About It
This is the provision,
scheduled to sunset at the end of this year, that, for the first time,
permits Internet Service Providers to voluntarily disclose customer records
or communications to federal authorities when they recognize they can
help save lives and prevent acts of terrorism and emergency-related violence
by doing so.
information to the FBI is obviously a very serious matter—so the
House Judiciary Committee asked Mr. Hulon to cite examples of how this
provision has specifically helped us protect the American people and
believes this provision must not be allowed to sunset.
think you'll be interested in the representative examples he chose
to make his case:
spring a threatening email was sent to the El Paso Islamic
Center: release hostages in Iraq or we'll burn your mosque to the
ground. FBI agents took the email to the ISP in question
and were given the needed indentifying information. Jared Bjarnason
was located and arrested before he could carry out his threat. He
pled guilty and was sentenced to prison.
a case that was sought to locate suspected terrorists in
the U.S. and abroad (most details are classified), several
ISPs provided subscriber information that helped us positively identify
a person in the U.S. who was in regular contact with a known terrorist
In a case involving attacks
against our military forces in Iraq, information from an
ISP gave us the names of terrorists there and linked them so that
we might locate them, learn about their plans, and prevent future
attacks against our troops.
a pregnant woman was found horrifically murdered in her home,
her baby cut out of her womb with a kitchen knife.
On her computer was correspondence with a woman on
the day of the murder when the woman asked directions
to the victim's house. Using the Emergency Disclosure
asked for information
from Internet companies that allowed us to identify
and arrest the murderess, who confessed to the murder,
and recover the victim's
girl, still alive.
Again, these are just
a few examples and don't account for the many cases that have supported
our terrorism investigations, located kidnapping victims, protected children
in exploitation cases, and responded to bomb and death threats.
We urge you to read Mr.
Hulon's complete testimony and also testimony
by Director Mueller and other Bureau executives that address U.S.A.
Patriot Act provisions, due to sunset, that have served to significantly
protect the American people in very human terms.