PATRIOT Act II: sneaking in via the slippery slope

Fang-Face writes has an article by Ryan Singel dated 24 Nov. in which he reports that the vampiric PATRIOT Act II has had the stake pulled out of its heart and is going to be implemented piecemeal.

A provision of an intelligence spending bill will expand the power of the FBI to subpoena business documents and transactions from a broader range of businesses — everything from libraries to travel agencies to eBay — without first seeking approval from a judge. […] The new provision in the spending bill redefines the meaning of “financial institution.” The wider definition explicitly includes insurance companies, real estate agents, the U.S. Postal Service, travel agencies, casinos, pawn shops, car dealers and any other business whose “cash transactions have a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax or regulatory matters.” .

Note to the hypersensitive: there is nothing about how the proposal will effect libraries in the remainder of the piece. Perhaps libraries will be fed to the bloodsucker because of the overdue fines they collect. This is just idle speculation, however.