Is the Surveillance Aspect of The Patriot Act Constitutional?

782 WordsFeb 21, 20183 Pages
Knowledge is power, and with that power comes control and wealth. Any government would want to obtain through surveillance all the knowledge it can about its citizens and the Patriot Act does just that. The Patriot Act came about shortly after the 9/11 when the American public looked to the government for protection against future attacks. Many in congress did not have time to read nor thoroughly debate the legislation. Numerous times in the past the United States government has placed more emphasis on security than civil liberties especially during national crisis. Most Americans think our Constitutional rights are absolute, but they would be wrong in assuming so. The passage of the Patriot Act gave the federal government greater latitude in its interpretation of those civil rights and surveillance of the American public. The “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism” (USA Patriot Act). limits the Fourth and First Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights for the sake of security. The Patriot Act is lengthy and encompasses many issues but its primary purpose was to protect the American Public. I will focus this paper to how the surveillance aspect affects the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and collection of Metadata. In the past the United States has long and sorted history to over reacting to crisis. Their reaction usually is to suppress civil liberties in some form. For example, in 1798,

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