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Patriot Act Case Study

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Since the founding of the United States of America, freedom has been the basis of the governmental and ruling systems in place. Individual freedoms are protected in both the Bill of Rights and the rest of the Constitution, and Schwartz (2009) explains that ‘public liberty ultimately enhances collective rationality—it is a path to heightening our wisdom by increasing access to pertinent information and improving decision making’ (p. 409). However, there have been many times in history when the true freedom of citizens is called into question. There has always been controversy about how much power the government should have, who is keeping the government in check, and if citizens are properly informed about what their elected governed are doing. The passing of the Patriot Act in 2001 was no exception to this controversy. The…show more content…
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was originally enacted to protect entities from abuse of surveillance for national security reasons. FISA contains policies associated with the process of gathering foreign intelligence by the intelligence community for national security reasons (Addicott & McCaul, 2008, p. 46-47). FISA also consisted of a secret court, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which had eleven unnamed federal judges who issued warrants regarding surveillance or searches for the intelligence community, and a court review board, which consisted of three federal judges who reviewed the actions of the secret court. After the passing of the Patriot Act by the Bush Administration, the NSA was essentially given full authority to collect information on citizens without a warrant, thereby circumventing the FISC, and Bush fully defended the NSA, stating “‘The activities I have authorized make it more likely that killers like these 9/11 hijackers will be identified and located in time.’” (Schwartz 2009
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