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Is Privacy Making a Comeback
Soon after the law's enactment, Attorney General John Ashcroft began likening criticism of such dubious legislation to the treasonous offense of "aiding terrorists." Noted civil libertarians such as Alan Dershowitz began to suggest that entrepreneurial judges could issue "torture warrants" against suspected terrorists, while automated face-recognition cameras began popping up in airports, and politicians began scheming about how to ban encryption products without backdoors for government snoops.
Suffice to say that privacy was not exactly paramount in everyone's mind. But as the two-year anniversary of Sept. 11 approaches, there are signs that Congress realizes it went too far in allowing electronic surveillance and other invasions of personal privacy.