In order to achieve this idea of safety Congress passed the Patriot Act that purported to grant new tools and rules by which law enforcement could catch terrorists....
56, otherwise known as the “Patriot Act,” there has been an ongoing battle between the privacy citizens enjoy and the safety Americans seek in their day-to-day lives.
One week after September 11, 2001, the Patriot Act, a law that was meant to strengthen national security, was signed by the Bush Administration to ensure that no terrorist attack would ever harm the lives of more Americans.
On October 26, 2011 the US Government signed into law the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (USA Patriot Act).
As a result, the Bush administration declared that new and more aggressive methods were needed to counter the threat of terrorism. Congress responded in October 2001 by approving the . This law expanded the powers of the federal government, permitting the use of covert surveillance against persons suspected of having connections to a terrorist plot or network. Opponents countered that the Patriot Act was an unwarranted intrusion against the right of privacy. Others feared that the Patriot Act was only the first in a series of laws that might restrict the rights of citizens. Some believed that the Patriot Act was a peculiar reaction to counter terrorists, especially as the president repeatedly claimed that the terrorists hated Americans for the freedoms they enjoyed.
This event released a flow of patriotic fervor and a permanent fear among all Americans that they had also now become suspect to acts of international terrorists.
The Senate is in a rare Sunday session, wrangling over three key surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act set to expire at midnight. PBS NewsHour's Political Director Lisa Desjardins joins Hari Sreenivasan from Washington with more.
The Patriot Act allows for 'sneak and peak' activities abridging freedom as law enforcement agencies are allowed to probe even public libraries or bookstore records without any notification. Extensive and wide discretion of searching has been given to the government providing access to educational, financial, and health records. These activities are, in fact, against the right of freedom provided to the citizens regarding their privacy in the U.S constitution. (Gerdes, 2005)
The U.S. Patriot Act has been renewed due to emergence of several grave and chronicle issues especially related but not limited to terrorism. Changes were needed for providing support to Federal Agents in obtaining records related to citizens as well as communications in the fight against terrorism. Taping of phones and getting access to bank record was needed to check the flow of financial transactions benefitting terrorists. For this purpose, the Patriot Act is considered as an effective tool to fight terrorism. The Act has been renewed with the intention of making America a safe place, free of all terrorist activities.
The major criticism of the Patriot Act is that it violates the civil rights and freedom of Americans. As such it is against the First Amendment. The Act, as per critics, was altogether not necessary as it has not provided extra efforts to fight terrorists. It is argued by the opponents of the act that it delays issuance of search warrants notifications so law enforcement agencies may delay giving appropriate notice for conducting a search. (Baker, 2005)
In response to activities such as the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, as well as the 2001 anthrax scares, Congress proposed the USA PATRIOT Act.
As already mentioned, wide powers have been given to the administration to perform their tasks of protecting nation from any foreign and domestic threat. The Patriot Act allows detaining non-citizens in America without any charge holding for an indefinite period. The issues that led to include this provision are the formation of beliefs about any non-citizen living in America and whose actions could cause a threat to national security. Therefore, this measure is considered as a pro-active approach adopted in the Act.
While this act made legislative changes that increased surveillance and the investigative powers of law enforcement agencies to protect America from further terrorist acts, the passing of the USA Patriot Act has reduced the priva...