Usa Patriot Pros And Cons

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The USA PATRIOT (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001) was a necessary and effective piece of legislation that enhanced the security of the nation and will continue, in a modified form, to prevent future terrorist attacks although it was quite intrusive on American’s civil liberties. According to detailed study of the decade following 9/11, “If we just look at the decade between 2001 and 2011, we still see that the number of terrorist attacks has declined since Sept. 11.” So, in terms of achieving its goal, it has been successful. Signed into law by President George W. Bush in October of 2001 in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the United States during…show more content…
According the American Civil Liberties Union, one of the most important and unconstitutional parts is in Section 215 of the act. It expanded ability for the government to gain access to third party records such as internet service providers and cell phone service providers. One of the most significant provisions of the Patriot Act makes it far easier for the authorities to gain access to records of citizens ' activities being held by a third party. This also would include forcing doctors, lawyers, anyone at all that has electronic communications records to turn such records over to the FBI when requested. Another concern raised by the ACLU is the provision’s violation of the 4th Amendment which allows investigates to conduct such searches without showing probable cause. Another major problem that could clearly lead to violations of the civil liberties of Americans is that most of the provision in the PATRIOT Act are unchecked. They state on their website that “Judicial oversight of these new powers is essentially non-existent. The government must only certify to a judge - with no need for evidence or proof - that such a search meets the statute 's broad criteria, and the judge does not even have the authority to reject the application.” The latitude given for allowing wire taps and monitoring phone call is also a sore spot for the act. It circumvents the 4th amendment to a great degree and probable cause is not necessarily required. Although it leaves a lot potential for abuse by investigators, it also empowers intelligence organizations a great deal of latitude in pursuing terrorist networks and lone-wolves. Al Qaeda’s expeditionary capability was essentially destroyed and Osama bin Laden was eliminated; the ability of a large, sophisticated network to plan, fund and execute an attack on American soil was virtually erased. The

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