The Patriot Act: Trampling on the Bill of Rights Essay

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Several weeks after the horrible terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act was rushed through Congress by Attorney General, John Ashcroft. This particular Act, however, was established with a ruling hand of fear. Life for Americans changed dramatically in those immediate days, weeks, and months after the attack. America had been spoiled with luxury for so long, that the illusion of control had ingrained itself into our very nature as Americans. That act of terror, on September 11, 2001, brought that belief crashing down, almost immediately. Fear and anger were rampant though out America; a dangerous…show more content…
Although not every aspect of The USA PATRIOT ACT is radical, section 215 in The USA PATRIOT Act is one of the more critically addressed problems of this already controversial piece of legislation. Probably because most sane individuals would not like the government walking into a library or book store and ask for a list of anyone who purchased a book that may or not be considered radical enough to be flagged as possible terrorist activity. Summarized best by Dahlia Lithwick, “Section 215 modifies the rules on records searches. Post-Patriot Act, third-party holders of your financial, library, travel, video rental, phone, medical, church, synagogue, and mosque records can be searched without your knowledge or consent, providing the government says it's trying to protect against terrorism.” (Lithwick part 1) This raises concern that the government may cry wolf (terrorism) to circumvent the Bill of Rights for any investigation it so desired. John Ashcroft, as quoted by an unnamed CNN writer, said "If we ever make an inquiry about any kind of record or business record, it has the judicial supervision, so that a federal judge would look carefully and simply not allow it if it were not a part of a case that merited the involvement of the authorities." (CNN 1) It would seem that the term privacy never evolved alongside technology, allowing even greater

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