The federal government, in the name of fighting a war on terrorism, has acquired comprehensive and wide-ranging new surveillance and law enforcement powers. While many of the new measures reflect legitimate concerns and the elusive nature of the terrorist threat, Stephen J. Schulhofer argues that many of these measures needlessly sacrifice important freedoms and might end up hampering, rather than advancing, the government's antiterrorist efforts. He points out that many of these new powers are not limited to terrorism cases, that many are not relevant to international terrorism cases at all, and that many do not require suspicion of any kind that the person being investigated is involved in criminal activity. And often, he notes, the executive branch can exercise these new powers unilaterally, without the supervisory control and judicial oversight that were taken for granted until September 11.
Sephen J. Schulhofer is the Robert B.McKay Professor of Law at New York University Law School. From 1986 until 2000, he was director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice at the University of Chicago, where he was the Julius Kreeger Pro
The context - restrictions on civil liberties in times of war; detaining suspected terrorists; restricting access to counsel; enhancing surveillance powers; enlarging access to financial, educational, and business records; reducing supervision of field investigators; next steps.