Policies and Procedures Manual

Chapter 4: Business & Administration

04:59:00   U.S.A. Patriot Act Policy

The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (Patriot Act) is designed to broaden the surveillance capabilities of law enforcement agencies in an effort to achieve early detection of potential terrorist plots. Pursuant to the provisions of The Patriot Act and acting under the authority of a valid court order, law enforcement agencies may request various forms of information, records, documents, or data from institutions of higher education. Such data include, but are not limited to, records of borrowed print materials, records of Internet access, e-mail communication records, and telephone usage records.

The majority of the aforementioned surveillance capabilities of law enforcement agencies were renewed by the United States Congress in 2006. On February 28, 2010, the President signed a 1-year extension of three provisions due to expire on February 27, 2010.  

A summary of the provisions that were due to expire include:

  • Lone wolf: Allows the government to track a target without any discernible affiliation to a foreign power, such as an international terrorist group. The provision applies only to non-U.S. persons.
  • Business records: Allows investigators to compel third parties to provide access to a suspect’s records without the suspect’s knowledge.
  • Roving wiretaps: Allows the government to monitor phone lines or Internet accounts that a terrorism suspect may be using, regardless of whether others who are not suspects also regularly use them. The government must provide the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court with specific information suggesting a suspect is purposely switching means of communication to evade detection.
  1. General Policy Statement: In any situation in which a law enforcement agency requests previously documented information pursuant to a court order, search warrant, or subpoena and/or any type of assistance in monitoring information in the future, Northeast State’s Chief of Police shall immediately consult with appropriate campus personnel and contact the Tennessee Board of Regents office of General Counsel to obtain assistance with properly responding to the request.
  2. Compliance Requirements
    1. Northeast State personnel who are approached by an agency requesting to obtain information under The Patriot Act should immediately refer the agency’s representative to the Chief of Police without furnishing any information.
    2. The Chief of Police shall immediately consult with appropriate campus personnel and forward a copy of the search warrant, subpoena, or other document presented to the Tennessee Board of Regents office of General Counsel. The Chief of Police shall request a review of the document’s legal sufficiency. they shall also request a written response from General Counsel regarding legal advice and support.

      Should the agent requesting information present a document, such as a search warrant, which is immediately executable, the Chief of Police shall proceed with the execution of document and contact the office of General Counsel as soon as possible.
    3. The Chief of Police shall maintain an accurate, comprehensive, and confidential written record of each request for information from law enforcement personnel.
  3. Voluntary Reporting of Suspicious Activity: Northeast State may voluntarily disclose information about an institutional computer network user’s access to the system if the College reasonably and objectively believes that an emergency involving immediate danger of death or serious injury justifies disclosure. In such cases College personnel shall complete the following steps:
    1. The individual suspecting the breach shall discuss the concern with the Chief of Police.
    2. The Chief of Police shall immediately consult with appropriate campus personnel and the Tennessee Board of Regents office of General Counsel.
    3. Upon written advice of General Counsel, the Chief of Police shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency.

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Divisional Review Responsibilities Checklist: Information Technology

Revision History: June 2003 (Implemented); April 2005; Nov. 2005; April 2010; Sept. 2013; Edited July 2020