by Kenric Ward, Watchdog.org
Virginia lawmakers want to give local and state authorities the same sweeping search-and-seizure powers used by the FBI and other federal agencies under the Patriot Act.
Senate Bill 919, by state Senator Jennifer Wexton, D-Leesburg, passed 39-1 last month. A similar measure, House Bill 1946 by Delegate Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, awaits action.
The bills allow for “administrative subsubpoenas,” or what Virginia civil libertarian John Whitehead calls “sneak-and-peek searches.”
“You’ll never know you’re being investigated,” Whitehead told Watchdog.org in an interview.
© 2015 Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity