Have you heard of the attacks of September 11, 2001? Have you thought of what would be the response to the attacks of such a magnitude? On this day, two airplanes were hijacked by terrorists supposedly from an islamic extremist group Al-Qaeda. These planes filled with passengers flew into the world trade centers which collapsed In New York city. The congress passed the USA Patriot Act due to the major loss received from the terrorist attacks of this horrible day. This act gave many government agencies like the US Department of Justice, the National Security Agency and other agencies powers that removed legal barriers which had blocked law enforcement, intelligence and defence agencies from sharing any information about terrorist threats, putting in and taking efforts to respond to them. The USA Patriot Act had an overall positive effect and made it easier for Americans to live a safer life.
The Patriot Act speeds up investigations, increases security measures and expands intelligence for interrogations. It acts as a permit for the government’s surveillance to transcend any natural or man made barriers. The Patriot act allows you to do speedy inquiries into suspicious activities while doing investigations. For example, ” With the stringent provisions of the act and the streamlined surveillance process, the potential threats to… planned attacks will be unfolded and intercepted” (8 Chief Pros and Cons of the USA Patriot Act, Pro 5). Any type of criminal who has been hiding behind a loophole of the government, now cannot hide any longer. Many people consider this act necessary as it prevents criminals from using technology to get around obstacles. For example, “The Act also updated decades-old federal laws to account for the technological breakthroughs seen in recent… participating in terrorist attacks and aiding terrorists” (United States Department of Justice, Pro 1). This limits what a criminal can now do.
The act also altered the rules or regulations regarding wiretaps and house searches. The Patriot act makes it easier for the government or any federal agency to listen to conversations that might seem suspicious or related to any sort of criminal activity. This can only be done if they given a permit from a judge. Provisions from this act has now made it possible for police officers to obtain intelligence on criminals or terrorists without triggering a sign that they are under surveillance.
Several Americans do not see the beneficial path of this act, they simply cannot open their eyes to the benefits they received due to this act. Their civil liberties have been strengthened in conjunction with their privacy and security. America’s rights have been enhanced and more secure than before because of a number of provisions provided by the USA Patriot Act. Privacy and government surveillance are some of the most controversial issues attached with the patriot act. The fourth amendment of the U.S Constitution secures every person’s house, papers etc. It is necessary for any law-enforcement official to obtain a warrant before taking any of these actions. A warrant is not easily obtainable because these officers have to make sworn statements to a judge about any house searches, wiretaps or any other action. These warrants can only be obtained if the judge is expressed with a probable cause. This is not all, the results of the search must be shared with the court. Citizens of the United States do not realize that when this act gives surveillance powers to agencies, they are looking for criminal activities of any sort that could affect the society. This act was made with so many powerful provisions to confront any form of terrorism so that we do not face the same tragedy that took place on september 11, 2001.
After the attacks of 9/11, there has been a great debate on whether or not the powers of the USA Patriot act should be given or not. It has been stated by some that this act gives the government the authority to spy on its own citizens which allows them to obtain a warrant to do house searches etc. and also violates the fourth amendment. First, it is important to remember that the USA Patriot Act concern to warranty only applies to international terrorism and foreign intelligence investigations. Second, as required by the fourth Amendment, probable cause is needed for a house search, wiretap or any other investigations which means that this act does not affect the fourth Amendment. People are blaming the Patriot Act for the fact that institutions and the government are able to obtain any personal records (banking, telephone etc.). It was true before the passing of this act that the US government and most state and local governments were able to obtain our personnel records so its wrong to blame this act for this reason. Rumors also state that people are also complaining that this act allows the government to check library records and what we are reading. Again, the government could already check them before the act was passed. Of course, many will probably agree with this assertion that it has made it easier to name citizens as domestic terrorists. However, it is wrong to think this way because ” The USA Patriot Act defines domestic terrorism as activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any state.”(Michael Heavican, USA Patriot Act beneficial to protecting Americans’ freedoms) unless you actually are doing something wrong. When the act was newly passed, people were very happy with it but after some time passed, people started to criticize it. They think that it is violating their rights but it is actually just securing them.
The new tools that are provided by this act has been tremendously helpful in preserving the civil liberties of Americans. The US Congress made a competent action by passing this act as it increased the overall national security, decreased the total number of crimes, enhanced and secured every American individuals rights and prevented any aspect of foreign and domestic terrorism. It speeds up inquiries, updates a few old laws, expands intelligence for interrogations, and changed a couple of rules and regulations. In all, America’s freedoms were protected from any terrorist acts and has been immensely beneficial in safeguarding America in general.
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