Pros And Cons Of The USA Patriot Act

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Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the Anthrax scare of 2001, Congress moved with tremendous force to make new powers for the federal government to prevent future terrorism. The most extensive effort was the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (nicknamed the USA Patriot Act) of 2001, signed into law on October 26, less than six weeks after the attacks on 9/11. The legislation granted additional wiretapping and surveillance authority to federal law enforcement, removed barriers between law enforcement and intelligence agencies, added financial disclosure and reporting requirements to stop terrorist funding, and gave greater authority to the …show more content…

The foundations of the Act were created long before 9/11. However, the 9/11 tragedies were the trigger point that led to the Act’s implementation. The patriot act is frequently seen as un-American because it violates basic freedoms and human rights. For instance, the Act violates privacy. On the other hand, supporters of the patriot act claim that it is the only way for America to ensure national security. Proponents argue that terror events happen because of lack of carefulness in law enforcement. National security issues occur because of the lack of laws for tighter security. Simultaneously, the patriot act increased the abilities of the government. For instance, the Act allows government interception of personal communication through wiretapping and other means. This enables the government to intercept communication among terrorism suspects. Law enforcers can also intercept personal communications of innocent citizens and non-citizens. However, patriot act supporters argue that electronic surveillance of people suspected to be a threat to national security has been in practice long before the patriot act. Secret hearings, warrants, and wiretapping have been around since 1978, based on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance …show more content…

Debates focus on violations of civil liberties. There are also questions about the appropriateness of the Act because it was passed and signed into law without extensive review. As the United States continues to experience terror threats and attacks, it is expected that the patriot act will continue to take effect. Civil liberties throughout American history have always expanded in peacetime and contracted during emergencies and wartime. During the Civil War, the two world wars, and the Cold War, Congress, and the president restricted civil liberties, and courts deferred. During peacetime, civil liberties expanded. Still, criticisms on the patriot act should lead to amendments. The future of the Act will likely involve amendments to limit the scope and powers of law enforcers. The goal of such amendments will be to protect personal freedoms and individual rights. One of the greatest things I can take away from the patriot act is that the government's success in preventing another catastrophic attack on the American homeland since September 11, 2001, would have been much more difficult, if not impossible, without the USA Patriot Act. The authorities Congress provided have substantially enhanced the government’s ability to prevent, investigate, and prosecute acts of

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