Patriot Act Case Study

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It is impossible to discuss civil liberties and security without talking about 9/11 and the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was passed almost immediately after 9/11, hugely expanding intelligence agencies ability to investigate potential terrorism. However, critics of the law say that it infringed on the civil liberties of the innocent and did not guarantee proper oversight of law enforcement agencies in their execution and use of these newfound powers. I agree that as war and violence evolve, so must our methods of preventing them. In this digital age preventing such violence means monitoring information channels and being able to respond to leads rapidly and subtly. That means sometimes forgoing the warrant process when urgency is needed, or only notifying suspects of searches after the…show more content…
Just because Law enforcement agencies need these powers does not mean they need to keep their actions secret from courts and investigators. If permission for invasive and constitution right violating action must be taken, then after that action is taken there must be scrutiny of the necessity and use of those rights-infringing powers. Without oversight, the Patriot Act will be used as a unilateral expansion of power for law enforcement, rather than used as a tool to be used in specific, terrorism related situations. Cases such as Schenck vs. U.S., where Schenck was convicted of violating the Espionage Act is a good example of the issue of civil liberties and security. It is the government’s responsibility to protect the people, even if it one of our own, action must be taken. Justice Holmes’ rule was to use the clear and present danger test. The United States was at war now and by advising people to resist the draft he was hampering security. Though this may have hindered Schenck’s right of speech, the threat to the nation was greater by allowing him to

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