<center><h1><a href=http://www.schneier.com/essay-totalsurveillance.html>Slouching Towards Big Brother</a></h1></center> <blockquote>Bruce Schneier CNET News.com, January 30, 2004 Last week the Supreme Court let stand the Justice Department's right to secretly arrest noncitizen residents. Combined with the government's power to designate foreign prisoners of war as "enemy combatants" in order to ignore international treaties regulating their incarceration, and their power to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without charge or access to an attorney, the United States is looking more and more like a police state. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Justice Department has asked for, and largely received, additional powers that allow it to perform an unprecedented amount of surveillance of American citizens and visitors. The USA Patriot Act, passed in haste after Sept. 11, started the ball rolling. In December, a provision slipped into an appropriations bill allowing the FBI to obtain personal financial information from banks, insurance companies, travel agencies, real estate agents, stockbrokers, the U.S. Postal Service, jewelry stores, casinos and car dealerships without a warrant--because they're all construed as financial institutions. Starting this year, the U.S. government is photographing and fingerprinting foreign visitors coming into this country from all but 27 other countries.</blockquote> With the passage of the grossly mis-named USA PATRIOT Act, the foundation for an American police state was laid. It is being added to surreptitiously...one stone at a time. If Dubbyuh's administration gets another term in office in 2004(<i>Barring another attack on US soil, in which case Dubbyuh will suspend the Constitution and declare himself "President for Life"</i>), the edifice of the police state will be complete.