The Real Threat of The Patriot Act

Mark Steyn points out in today's WaTi that while the actual Patriot Act doesn't infringe on anyone's rights unreasonably, that doesn't stop businesses from opportunistically using it as an excuse for their own abuses. Asked for his driver's license number (he'd already given his S.S. #) on a contract, he had the temerity to inquire why they needed to know. "Patriot Act," he was informed. And he can take it from here:

So we asked where in the Patriot Act could this particular requirement be found and, after a bit of a delay, we got an answer. And on discovering there was no mention of driver's licenses in that particular subsection, I wrote back that we have a policy of reporting all erroneous invocations of the Patriot Act to the Department of Homeland Security on the grounds that such invocations weaken the rationale for the act, and thereby undermine public support for genuine anti-terrorism measures and thus constitute a threat to America's national security.

And about 10 minutes after, the guy sent back an e-mail saying he didn't need the driver's license after all.

Ha! He has more examples in a somewhat meandering column that's nonetheless worth a look-see.