Opinions on US PATRIOT Act of 2001

Essay by karimarie2003College, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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On October 26, 2001 President George W. Bush signed the US PATRIOT Act of 2001; making it a law. The word "patriot" in the Patriot Act is an acronym that spells out "Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism". The name sounds pretty nice but the bill; however, in my opinion is like one of those things that sound better in your head. I am not at all knocking the United States whatsoever, but for so many years we have had all this "freedom" and now all of sudden we are losing it ever so slowly.

The Patriot Act amended over fifteen statutes, including the laws governing criminal procedure, computer fraud and abuse, foreign intelligence, wiretapping, immigration, and the laws governing the privacy of student records. These amendments expanded the authority of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and law enforcement to gain access to business records, medical records, educational records and library records, including stored electronic data and communications.

It also expanded the laws governing wiretaps and "trap and trace" phone devices to Internet and electronic communications. (www.ala.org - usapatriotactlibrary)

Although this new law is suppose to help law enforcement agencies prevent other terrorist attacks on the United States, they are destroying the freedom the citizens in this country once relied on. The threat of terrorism itself should not be used as an excuse for the government to invade our constitutional and civil rights. I feel that this new law contradicts the Fifth Amendment, stating that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause..."

The new law allows law enforcement agencies access to issue a search warrant immediately if there is reason...