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Usa Patriot Act Essay

679 words - 3 pages

The USA PATRIOT Act, or the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, is a basically an anti-terrorism law that was rather hastily passed as a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks. It primarily aims at deterring and punishing acts of terrorism committed in the United States and elsewhere (USA PATRIOT Act, n.d.). However, while it appears to have noble aims of safeguarding American lives and property, the act needs to be repealed or, if not, amended so that the privacy freedoms of citizens are not trampled upon.
The USA PATRIOT Act also aims at expanding the investigatory tools of law enforcement and, as ...view middle of the document...

By the way, terrorist activity has been expanded to include membership or fund solicitation for the encompassing term of "terrorist organization," no matter that it has legitimate humanitarian or political ends (Mayeux, 2003-2004).
The Act is un-American because it goes against the essence of democracy, which involves championing individual rights and having a system of checks and balance. Because the Patriot Act empowers the executive branch much too much, judicial review is sacrificed. The result is that the expanded anti-terrorism act has made Americans lose the privacy and due process rights they have enjoyed for so long.
Of course, it is understandable during times of war or periods of security threats that such rights need to be temporarily suspended. However, the temporary or sunset provisions of the Act—which are the controversial ones that concern privacy rights—have been reauthorized early this year. These provisions relate to surveillance of business records, 'lone wolf' investigations, and roving wiretapping (USA Patriot Act: News). This means that those provisions that have been in place for nine years and...

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