The Usa Patriot Act : An Essential Step Against The Constitutional Rights Of All Americans

1185 WordsJun 12, 20155 Pages
The USA PATRIOT Act was a piece of legislation that was signed into law to address the realities of modern terrorism. The new breed of terrorism was sophisticated and used new technologies that, according to the President, “were not available at the time that the existing laws were written”, he said in his speech during the bill signing press event on October 26. 2001; a fair argument. He said “The bill before me takes account of the new realities and dangers posed by modern terrorists” and the Patriot Act was “an essential step in defeating terrorism while protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans”. But how does the Patriot Act do that? How does it protect the constitutional rights of Americans? How does it help defeat…show more content…
America the Brave and America the Free was now America the Mortal. Amidst the panic and outcry for increased security efforts, October 26, 2001, President George W. Bush, signs H.R. 3162 into law, the USA PATRIOT Act and the first jeopardy of American freedom in the modern war against terrorism. To understand why the Patriot Act is a threat to society and freedom, one must understand the basics. First, the most powerful “Tool” under the Act is Title V or “Removing obstacles to investigating terrorism”. Under Title V, any Special Agent who is in charge of a bureau field office of the FBI can issue a National Security Letter, or a demand for information by the FBI which compels the recipient to release private data in relation to an individual who is only suspected of terrorism; no confirmed relationship. NSLs have existed for some time and previously the power to issue these demands were held only by the Director and Deputy Director of the FBI. Additionally, under the Patriot Act, the scope of the NSLs power was made more broad, permitting all sorts of private data to be gathered in secret, such as phone records, computer access records, credit history and banking records. NSLs require no judicial review or probable cause and even contain a clause which forbids the recipient from ever disclosing the letter’s existence; a “gag order”. Second to Title V, is Title II or “Enhanced Surveillance Procedures”, the name itself being very revealing of
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