After the attacks of 9/11 on American freedom and on American soil, it was apparent that there was a need for better protection against terrorist attacks, and for the very freedom that we once cherished, and, to some extent, took for granted. The American government devised a plan to combat these problems and called it the USA PATRIOT ACT, which empowered our government officials with almost unconstitutional power. The purpose of this research is to show that the USA PATRIOT Act, while pure in thought, is full of corrupt methods for the government to pry into the personal lives of its people. Several references to debates and cases that have been brought forth to show that American freedom, privacy, and even foreign relations have been impeded upon will be discussed.
[...] The government could not continue to ignore the gaps and problems that existed in policy before the 9/11 attacks, so they created the USA PATRIOT Act to essentially protect American liberties by instilling stronger laws. Thornburgh (2005) presents evidence that the Terminiello case again relates to modern-day debates when he states, “[Jackson] understood that civil liberties could only survive under governments with the power to protect those liberties from attack” (p. 804). “Cooperation between agencies including law enforcement and intelligence agencies was less than ideal” (Thornburgh p. [...]
[...] In another case opposing the USA PATRIOT Act in 2004, federal judge struck down a key surveillance provision in the USA PATRIOT Act, ruling that it broadly violated the U.S. Constitution by giving federal authorities unchecked powers to obtain private information” (Swartz p. 6). This case, again, was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of an internet provider (Swartz p. but this time, the ACLU was successful. Of most concern to Americans opposing the USA PATRIOT Act is the privacy of their personal information. [...]
[...] According to Thornburgh (2005), personal information on the internet is not the only thing that has been breeched by the USA PATRIOT Act. It also puts a strain on relations with foreign individuals, immigrants and aliens. “Critics also assert that the Act allows the detention of aliens without a hearing or a showing that they pose a threat to national security” (Thornburgh p. 806). The Associated Press confirms this accusation: ACLU says its clients have already been hurt by the Patriot Act because fear of the law has kept many people from attending religious services and making charitable donations” (Associated Press para. [...]
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