Sunday, August 25, 2013
Essay on Pros and Cons of the USA Patriot Act
Essay on the Pros and Cons of the USA Patriot Act
The USA patriot act was signed into law by then US President George W. Bush as a direct response to the September 11 attacks on United States soil. This incident was the first large scale terrorist attack inside the borders of the United States. The last time a similar attack occurred was when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Both incidents pushed the United States to the forefront of wars before it was the Second World War, now it is the war on terror. Armed with the knowledge that terrorists were slowly gaining a foothold within United States soil the government set out to look for these elements. The laws that were present then to help prosecute these lawless elements were not really helping. In essence they did were for a more lax society where there were restrictions on against searches and seizures or even wire tapping. It was signed into law and was known as the USA PATRIOT Act. The name actually is an acronym that stands for the first letters of the following: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (US PATRIOT Act, 2001).
The more lax restrictions against the aforementioned were just a few of the provisions of this law. It helped in making the surveillance and arrest of known terrorist elements easier. That however is not the only side to the USA PATRIOT ACT. The American Civil Liberties Union raised many concerns against the Act. One of them is known as the roving wiretap. With the more restrictive laws of the past a wire tap needed approval for each number. But with the USA PATRIOT ACT that was not the case anymore. The wire tap could now apply to the person and not just the number. It allowed them to combat the use of disposable cellphones. The ACLU on the other hand cries foul and alleges that it could set bad precedents and it could be used against people who are not suspected terrorists (ACLU, 2010). This is just one of the many issues that arose with USA PATRIOT ACT.
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