Free Essay

The Patriot Act: a Constitutional Analysis

In: Other Topics

Submitted By ammills1
Words 3174
Pages 13
The Patriot Act: A Constitutional Analysis
Andrew Mills
University of Memphis

Abstract
“The USA Patriot Act, enacted seven weeks after the September 11 attacks, granted the federal government sweeping new powers to expand surveillance, curtail financing, and deport aliens in connection with terrorist activity” (Stanford, 2003). This quote embodies the reasons for the heated controversy surrounding the Patriot Act. Whether one discusses the brief period of time leading up to the signing of the Patriot Act or the numerous provisions that resulted from the passing of this bill, individuals will likely have clashing viewpoints. The vast majority of the controversies surrounding the act involves whether or not it falls in line with the U.S. Constitution. Opponents of the act argue that it should have never passed through Congress due to its unconstitutionality. Those who support the Patriot Act often use its success in fighting terrorist threats as a reason to maintain it. After analyzing the bill and its provisions, its successes were made apparent, as well as its unconstitutionality.

The Patriot Act: A Constitutional Analysis The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, commonly known as the USA Patriot Act (USAPA), was signed into law during one of the most distressing periods in American history. Its hasty introduction spawned controversy across a variety of political spectrums. Concerns regarding the constitutionality of this act have caused many to oppose the act and call for its annulment. On the other hand, many individuals argue in favor of the act due to its successes. In order to formulate an experienced opinion on the Patriot Act, its history and the circumstances surrounding its creation must first be investigated.
History of the USAPA The terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 plunged the American people into a state of panic and fear. It was the deadliest attack to have ever occurred on American soil. The American people expected the Federal Government to immediately take a course of action to counter the terrorist attacks. Not only did the Government initiate the War on Terror in Afghanistan, but it also focused on domestic terror threats by passing the USAPA. On October 26, 2001, having been easily passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate, President George W. Bush signed the act into law. The bill was passed only a month and a half after the terrorist attacks. Kettl (2004) articulates that, “… it [the bill] completed its work in near-record time” (p. 96). The hasty passing of the USAPA seemed necessary to most Americans, as they felt the need for an immediate response. As time has passed, though, opposition to the bill has steadily grown. The objectives of the bill and the circumstances surrounding its hasty passing must be studied to pinpoint the reasons for such opposition.

Objectives of the USAPA The USAPA’s main objective was to improve national security in the wake of 9/11. As stated by Schemmel (2003), “The primary stated purposes of the USA PATRIOT Act are to ‘deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world [and] to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools ...’” The USAPA accomplished this in a series of ten titles, as demonstrated in Table 1. Titles of the USA Patriot Act
Titles of the USA Patriot Act
Table 1 Title | Description | Title I | Enhancing domestic security against terrorism | Title II | Enhanced surveillance procedures | Title III | International Money Laundering Abatement and Anti-terrorist Financing Act of 2001 | Title IV | Protecting the border | Title V | Removing obstacles to investigating terrorism | Title VI | Providing for victims of terrorism, public safety officers, and their families | Title VII | Increased information sharing for critical infrastructure protection | Title VIII | Strengthening the criminal laws against terrorism | Title IX | Improved intelligence | Title X | Miscellaneous |

Note. The data on the titles of the USAPA was adapted from How the USA Patriot Act Combats Cyber-Crime by Tammy J. Schemmel.

As shown in the table above, the Patriot Act was designed to modify and improve existing programs. Opponents of the USAPA cite these modifications as the primary reasons behind the act’s unconstitutionality.
Criticism of the USAPA Critics of the USAPA claim that the act should have been better analyzed before Congress voted on it. Initial criticism was directed toward the hasty passing of the Act with little review by Congress. They also assert that it violates the constitution by infringing upon civil liberties. More specifically, they state that First and Fourth Amendment rights are under assault by the new laws that are in place as a result of the act. To validate the opinions of its critics, the characteristics of the USAPA that are under such scrutiny must be analyzed.
Limited Review of the USAPA
The first aspect of the USAPA that sands out to its critics is the brief amount of time between its proposal and signing into law. The USAPA was officially drafted only days after the September, 11th attacks. By October 12, 2001, the act had already passed through the House of Representatives and the Senate, barely a month following the attacks (Library, 2001). The speed of the Act is partly due to the fact that the components of the bill had been on the drawing boards for quite some time. For instance, in response to the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995, there was public outcry for Congress to pass a bill known as the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act; it was a bill that would result in law enforcement having fewer limitations in investigations, leading to stronger counterterrorism measures. In a periodical written by Time Inc. editor and critic Richard Lacayo, he stated that, “We must facilitate passage of the 1995 Omnibus Counterterrorism Act to make deportation of the ill-intentioned easier” (1995). Lacayo’s statement reflected a common attitude among American’s following the 1995 domestic terrorist attack. Because the Oklahoma City Bombing was far from the magnitude of 9/11, the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act received less attention and was never passed. Since components from the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act are pervasive in the USAPA, the bill already had a basic blueprint on which to expand. Therefore, the USAPA was able to land on the floors of the House of Representative and Senate only days after the September 11th attacks. Opponents state that had the September, 11th attacks never occurred a proposed USAPA would have undergone more scrutiny, as they claim that the attacks were used as a catalyst to accelerate the passing of the USAPA. Critics of the USAPA state that as a result of the quick passing of the bill, members of Congress did not sufficiently examine it to verify its constitutionality. This drove many Congressmen to oppose the act in the years following its signing into law. In their article Homeland Security & Civil Liberties, Craig Belanger and Heather Newton state that, “There was minimal congressional debate over the merits or drawbacks of the Patriot Act, and very little public scrutiny; critics charge that this was intentional in order to quickly pass the law before it could be thoroughly understood… A vast majority of both the Senate and the House of Representatives voted in favor the bill, including many legislators who would later renounce their support for it after it became apparent that law enforcement agencies were abusing their authority under the act in the name of the war on terror” (Belanger & Newton, 2011). Belanger and Newton state that as a result of the bill being rushed through Congress with little review, it was later renounced by many. Therfore, the opposition’s belief that the USAPA was unnecessarily rushed into law is appropriate. A growing opposition to the USAPA in the United States is evidence of such an occurrence. To pinpoint the reasons for such growing opposition, the USAPA’s constitutionality must be analyzed.
Constitutionality of the USAPA
The controversy regarding the constitutionality of the USAPA trumps all other discussions concerning the act. Critics of the bill view it as an overall threat to civil liberties. A common theme among those who oppose the act seems to reflect a famous quote by Benjamin Franklin. “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” The USAPA lifts many limitations on law enforcement for investigating and incarcerating suspected terrorists. Opponents to the bill are quick to add that such actions can be carried out on any United States citizen. An essential freedom granted to U.S. citizens under the First Amendment is the freedom of speech and association. Most Americans can safely assume that citizens are allowed the basic freedom of thought. Critics of the USAPA believe that, as a result of such a bill, the freedom of thought is under attack. USAPA Section 215, commonly referred to as the “Library Records” provision, allows agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to access the library records of “individuals of reasonable suspicion” in order to assist in investigations. (Gruben, 2006). In these circumstances, the person under investigation remains unaware of the fact that their private records are being reviewed by such agents. The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. Critics of the USAPA claim that Section 215 essentially permits a search and seizure of an individual’s personal property [personal records] without the individual’s knowledge or permission and, it essentially permits federal agents to spy on the general population. “The Bill of Rights also gives citizens certain rights to privacy, particularly when it comes to their interest in reading, and the library has a duty to keep the interests of the citizens confidential from others” (Gruben, 2006). Under such a scenario, the unwarranted viewing of an individual’s library records is in clear violation of the U.S. Constitution. Moreover, the USAPA’s “sneak-and-peak” provision appears to carry the most controversy. “Activists have publicized the use of the law's most controversial sections, which allow sneak-and-peek searches (that is, searches conducted without notifying the targets) and government inspection of bank, library, and other records” (Weigel, 2005). Though the aforementioned seizure of library records is a form of the “sneak-and-peak” provision, it pales in comparison to the seizure of personal property within an individual’s home. Under these provisions, the FBI can, “…obtain a warrant not on the basis of ‘probable cause,’ as has been required in domestic criminal probes, but on the much looser basis that the information is ‘relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation’--not just terrorism” (Hentoff, 2001). Not only does the Fourth Amendment guard against unnecessary searches and seizures, but it also requires a judicially sanctioned warrant that is supported by probable cause. The “sneak-and-peak” provision appears to violate the entire fourth amendment. Under the USAPA, the surveillance capabilities of federal agencies, such as wiretapping, are greatly expanded. The act lifts many restrictions off of federal agents and law enforcement’s capabilities in monitoring telephone and internet conversations. Opponents of the USAPA are quick to point out that, the legislature violates the Fourth Amendment privacy protections by allowing investigators unlimited access to private conversations without probable cause. “The PATRIOT Act specifically extends existing authority to the Internet and expands wiretap authority to nationwide jurisdiction and roving wiretaps. Yet Fourth Amendment privacy protections are lost as law enforcement relies on more lenient FISA standards that do not require a showing of probable cause” (Lee, 2006). In her article, Lee describes how the USAPA’s wiretap provisions compromise the Fourth Amendment. She further explains that with less oversight over surveillance protocol, an indefinite rise in the use of wiretaps and internet surveillance would occur.
Proponents of the USAPA Supporters of the USAPA believe that the act is essential to guarantee a safe way of life for all law-abiding U.S. citizens in a post 9/11 world. They argue that the act removes barriers that prevent federal agencies from carrying out in-depth investigations on suspected terrorists. Proponents of the USAPA generally state that the provisions of the act performs, “…greatly [at] reducing the chances that the country will be subject to another devastating attack from abroad” (Lee & DiLascio, 2011). Overall, those who support the USAPA deem it necessary in order to prevent future large-scale terrorist attacks.
Constitutionality of the USAPA
Proponents of the USAPA present evidence that it lies within the bounds of the constitution. They insist that the provisions of the USAPA contain safeguards that protect individual civil liberties. For instance, according to the USAPA, as emphasized by Nathan A. Sales, a law professor at George Mason University School of Law, when considering the process of wiretapping, “… a prior court order is necessary. FBI agents can't unilaterally decide to eavesdrop on every phone a person uses. They have to appear before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and convince a federal judge that there is probable cause to believe that the target is a ‘foreign power’” Despite the requirement for the court order, such surveillance procedures are regularly carried out on U.S. citizens without their knowledge (Lee, 2006). As previously articulated by Lee, such provisions are routinely carried out by federal agencies with the nation’s best interests in mind, but they violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Effectiveness of the USAPA
The Patriot Act simplified information sharing among government agencies so that they could more easily “connect the dots.” The law removed obstacles that prevented law enforcement and intelligence agencies from coordinating their work. Under the U.S. Department of Justice’s description of the USAPA, the “Virginia Jihad” case of 2003 was used as an example to demonstrate the effectiveness of the new provisions put into place as a result of the passing of the USAPA. “As the result of an investigation that included the use of information obtained through FISA [Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act], prosecutors were able to bring charges against these individuals [suspected terrorists]” (Justice, 2009). The FISA was an act that was directly amended by the USAPA to include groups that are not backed by foreign governments as terrorists. Without such a modification to the FISA, local Virginia authorities would not have been able to interact with federal investigators on the case, as the individuals were classified as terrorists. Furthermore, the USAPA has updated the law to usher in new technologies and to deal with contemporary threats. U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft argued in favor of the USAPA arguing that it, “…gave law enforcement improved tools to prevent terrorism in the age of high technology” (Ashcroft, 2005). Ashcroft discusses the enhanced wiretapping techniques that are utilized by means of the USAPA. Before the USAPA, “investigators were forced to get a different wiretap order every time a suspect changed cell phones; now investigators can get a single wiretap that applies to the suspect and various phones he uses” (Ashcroft, 2005). The increased efficiency in the wiretapping process was proven effective in the capture of Uzair Paracha, a Pakistani national who resided in New York City who was charged with providing material support to al-Qaeda.
Conclusion
The USAPA was passed briefly following the September, 11th attacks to address the safety concerns of all Americans. In the time since its passing, the USAPA has indeed proven to carry out its provisions effectively. Though opponents of the act can argue that the bill was rushed and was ridden with unconstitutional provisions, one would be hard-pressed to deny that USAPA failed to effectively carry out what it was set out to accomplish. Overall, the USAPA continues to perform successfully and improve, particularly in the eyes those who support it. On the other hand, the USAPA must be classified as unconstitutional, as it violates both the First and Fourth Amendments. Though the act may perform successfully, it remains outside of the boundaries of the Constitution. Therefore, unless key components of the act are removed or the First and Fourth Amendments are modified, the USAPA will remain unconstitutional.

References
Ashcroft, J. (2005). The Patriot Act Was Necessary. In L. I. Gerdes (Ed.), Opposing Viewpoints. The Patriot Act. San Diego: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from address to the American Enterprise Institute, 2003) Retrieved from http://ic.galegroup.com.ezproxy.memphis.edu /ic/ovic/ViewpointsDetailsPage/ViewpointsDetailsWindow?displayGroupName=Viewpo ints&disableHighlighting=false&search_within_results=&prodId=OVIC&action=2&catI d=&documentId=GALE%7CEJ3010312208&userGroupName=tel_a_uofmem&jsid=c6a 3feb6d2fb82c4a5f037a8d8263590
Belanger, Craig, & Newton, Heather (2011). The Patriot Act Threatens Liberty. Points of View: Homeland Security & Civil Liberties. Retrieved November 27, 2012, from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.memphis.edu/pov/detail?sid=27698127-b398-4363-b4 22-190bb34c5972%40sessionmgr15&vid=5&hid=24&bdata=JnNpdGU9cG92LWxpdm U%3d#db=pwh&AN=26618842
Gruben, K. T. (2006). What Is Johnny Doing in the Library? Libraries, the U.S.A. Patriot Act, and Its Amendments. St. Thomas Law Review, 19(2), 297-328.
Hentoff, N. (2001). “Why should we care? It's only the Constitution”. Progressive, 65(12), 24- 27.
Justice, U.S. Department of (2009). Retrieved November 27, 2012, from http://www.justice.gov/archive/ll/highlights.htm
Kettl, Donald F. (2004). System Under Stress: Homeland Security and American Politics. Washington D.C.: CQ Press
Lacayo, R. (1995). Rushing to bash outsiders. Time, 14570.
Lee, L. T. (2006). Patriot Act Surveillance Powers Violate Privacy. In J. Carroll (Ed.), Opposing Viewpoints. Privacy. Detroit: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from Rutgers Computer & Technology Law Journal, 2003, Summer, 29, 371-403) Retrieved from http://ic.galegroup.com.ezproxy.memphis.edu/ic/ovic/ViewpointsDetailsPage/Viewpoints DetailsWindow?displayGroupName=Viewpoints&disableHighlighting=false&search_wi thin_results=&prodId=OVIC&action=2&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CEJ301043420 6&userGroupName=tel_a_uofmem&jsid=ca90fcf9e807557ecf2791b6393dcab4
Lee, M., & DiLascio, Tracy M. (2011). The Patriot Act is Necessary for National Security. Points of View: Homeland Security & Civil Liberties. Retrieved November 27, 2012, from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.memphis.edu/pov/detail?sid=27698127-b398- 4363-b422-190bb34c5972%40sessionmgr15&vid=6&hid=24&bdata=JnNpdGU9cG92L WxpdmU%3d#db=pwh&AN=26618839
Library of Congress, The. (2001). Uniting and Strengthening America Act. Retrieved November 30, 2012, from http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:H.R.2975:
Sales, N. A. (2012). The PATRIOT Act Does Not Violate Americans' Right to Privacy. In S. Engdahl (Ed.), Current Controversies. Espionage and Intelligence. Detroit: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from Testimony: Reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act, House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, 2011) Retrieved from http://ic.galegroup.com.ezproxy.memphis.edu/ic/ovic/ViewpointsDetailsPage/Viewpoints DetailsWindow?displayGroupName=Viewpoints&disableHighlighting=false&search_wi thin_results=&prodId=OVIC&action=2&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CEJ301027028 3&userGroupName=tel_s_tsla&jsid=90eb84f528d0
Schemmel, Tammy J., How the USA Patriot Act Combats Cyber-Crime. Retrieved November 28, 2012, from LexisNexis.
Stanford Law Review , Vol. 55, No. 4. (Apr., 2003). Patriotic or Unconstitutional? The Mandatory Detention of Aliens under the USA Patriot Act. p. 1419-1456
"The Constitution of the United States," Amendment 1, Amendment 4.
Weigel, D. (2005). When Patriots Dissent. Reason, 37(6), 32-38.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

The United States Constitution vs the Patriot Act

...The Patriot Act Vs The United States Constitution Khadija Nurul Hasan Chaffey College The Patriot Act Vs The United States Constitution             The “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism” Act, or Patriot Act was passed on October 24th, 2001 with almost all legislators in favor of it. The terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, sparked a nationwide desire for heightened security and increased abilities for law-enforcement agencies to track and stop terrorists. Thus, the Patriot Act was created in response, and passed with the aim of battling terrorism. However there are always two sides to any passing of a political law: those who support it and those who oppose it. Those who support the Patriot Act have consistently countered that the provisions of the Act are necessary to protect the people from future terrorist attacks, and that the law does an adequate job of protecting individual civil liberties; while those who oppose it argue that the Act is an egregious assault on individual liberties as it violates their constitutional rights. The hypothesis of this paper is to dissect and analyze Sections of the Patriot Act to see if they are in violation of the United States Constitution.  Specifically the paper will analyze Sections 505, 215 of the Patriot Act to see if they violate the Constitution. The first violation in question comes from Section 505 of...

Words: 1895 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Week 2 Individual

...precedence set by former president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The divulgence of information obtained without authorization from either the sender or receiver was expressly prohibited via the telecommunications act of 1934. The FDR administration interpreted that wiretapping was legal as long as the information was not divulged. Subsequently, many legal battles began and congress as well as the Supreme Court began inhibiting surveillance by the government in favor of constitutional protections and rights. This led to emergence of secretive surveillance by the FDR administration. The Foreign intelligence and surveillance act of 1978 sought to legaly reintroduce surveillance but in most cases required judiciary authorization. There are some exceptions written into the act that allows surveillance but for limited periods of time and/or requiring congress to formally declare an act of war. Previous precedence of the FDR administration and loopholes within the FISA act was basis for the Bush administration to carry on the legacy of unauthorized and unknown surveillance. Likewise, during this administration the Patriot Act was written and included language that further allowed surveillance beyond the scope of authorization required by the FISA act. Summary number two During the fall of 2011, Kisswanni wrote for The International Lawyer about the need for telecommunications interception and access regulations that are reasonable and do not......

Words: 812 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

The Patriot Act

...The events of September 11th, 2001 potentially changed the legal structure of the United States. Following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the President and Congress saw fit to protect the United States by passing a bill called the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act significantly expanded the powers of law enforcement by allowing law enforcement and intelligence agencies to use types of electronic surveillance that were previously only allowed with legal warrants (Ibid, 2001). Additionally, the Patriot Act allows government agencies to detain suspected terrorists for unspecified lengths of time in order to investigate their activities (Ibid, 2001). The detainment of terrorist suspects does not allow these individuals access to an attorney, a trial, or any other guarantee promised in the Constitution. The United States legal and judicial systems utilize a network of checks and balances to ensure that the rights of citizens, as enumerated by the United States Constitution, are not violated. These systems call for crime investigation to require a warrant issued by the judicial branch in order to execute any search or seizure of personal property, as declared by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Madison, 1789). The framers of the United States started the Constitution with a Bill of Rights that set our inalienable rights. These rights are not allowed to be violated and the legal system is designed to protect these rights, even......

Words: 2363 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Computer Crime: Pornography, Fraud, Hacking and Gambling

...crimes involving: • Computers • Computer systems • Computer applications. 2. Cybercrime consists of computer crime that takes place in cyberspace 3. The Internet facilitates a number of opportunities for crimes to occur. 4. Typical cybercrime abuses include: • Hacking • Spreading of viruses • Fraud • IP theft • Appropriation of trade secrets • Defamation B. The USA Patriot Act, 2001 1. The USA Patriot Act provided significant new powers to federal law enforcement agencies. 2. In conjunction with the Patriot Act, an executive order issued by President Bush expanded the power of federal investigators. 3. The Patriot Act and executive order strengthened the federal powers relating to: • Computer and cyberspace communication • Storage of electronic records 4. The U.S. Department of Justice,...

Words: 4504 - Pages: 19

Premium Essay

Patriot Act

...USA PATRIOT ACT OF 2001 The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 is a 342-page, sprawling piece of legislation that contains more than 150 sections and amends more than 15 federal laws. The law's full name is the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, hence the acronym USA PATRIOT Act. It deals primarily with combating terrorism and gives the executive branch of the federal government more tools to fight suspected terrorist activity, but it also aroused the anger of civil libertarians. Critics of the act have charged that the government gained the power to investigate and detain persons with little oversight from the courts. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. political leaders sought to address terrorism with new vigor. President George w. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft presented Congress with proposed legislation on September 17, 2001, that focused on intelligence gathering, immigration, criminal justice, and money laundering. The administration sought new powers to conduct searches of people suspected of terrorism; to detain and deport persons suspected of terrorist involvement; and to remove statutes of limitations on terrorism. In addition, the administration wanted the justice department to have the power to place wiretaps on the phones and computers of anyone suspected of terrorism. This initial proposal became the framework for the USA PATRIOT Act, which...

Words: 4564 - Pages: 19

Premium Essay

Fisa

...Amendment (Cetina 2013). The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) became necessary in the 1970s after turmoil surrounding the legality of various domestic intelligence activities, especially that of President Richard Nixon’s usage of federal resources to spy on political and activist groups. In response to these conflicts in 1978 FISA was created (Banks 2007). FISA essentially regulated and authorized electronic surveillance of foreign powers and agents of foreign powers in the United States. FISA Court was created to setup a standard set of rules while obliging by government’s need to obtain surveillance orders secretly and as quickly as possible. However as a result of our changing world FISA has become a drastically more complicated law than when it was originally passed in 1978, and the role of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has accordingly grown far beyond the bounds of what government envisioned when the law was created (Blum 2008). FISA has proven to be troublesome in multiple ways for both intelligence gathering agencies, and those concerned with its potential violation of the 4th Amendment and various privacy concerns. It has proved to be a bureaucratic burden for intelligence gathering agencies, but also increased scrutiny from the public about concerns surrounding the 4th Amendment. The best way to revive balance between keeping American safe from foreign threats and the constitutional viability of foreign intelligence surveillance is......

Words: 2586 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

...U.S. Department of Homeland Security Chris Cabral National American University Abstract The primary mission of the Homeland Security Act is to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism, and minimize damage and assist in recovery for terrorist attacks that occur in the United States. The U.S Department of Homeland Security was established after the 9/11 attacks to counter terrorist activities against the United States. Homeland security is officially defined by the National Strategy for Homeland Security as "a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur”. The major objective of the Patriot Act is “to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools" by dramatically reducing restrictions pertaining to law enforcement requests to search telephone records, e-mail communication, and health records. The Patriot Act allows for the emergency disclosure of electronic communications to protect life and broadens the definition of terrorism to include acts of domestic terrorism. Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Patriot Act allows the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or a designee of the director to apply for an order requiring the "production of any tangible things......

Words: 3497 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Effects of Usa Patriot Act on Banking Privacy

...Effects of USA PATRIOT Act on Banking Privacy Introduction On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by the terrorists and the attack has completely changed the way we live and work. Its impact is so immense that it covers almost every aspect of our life including the privacy protection policy in the banking industry. After the September 11 terrorist attack, the U.S. Congress passed a law, the USA PATRIOT Act that makes it easier for government law enforcement and intelligence agencies to gather and share information related to terror-related investigations and it has changed how the banking industry or financial institutions handle the privacy of their customers’ personal information. The purpose of this research paper is to explore the effects of the USA PATRIOT Act on banking industry’s handling customers’ private personal information. Some Background Information and History of Banking Privacy The USA PATRIOT Act is not an official title of the law. It is the acronym of the very long title of the Act: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001. It was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. But, before 2001, do we have any law that provides guidelines for the privacy of banking industry in the United States of America? Surely, there are several laws that are related to the financial institutions and the privacy protection......

Words: 3707 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

Search and Seizure

...Constitutional Law Dr. Wilson April 22, 2014 Search and Seizure Response Paper I believe that the courts have put in place certain safeguards and limitations that ensure police officers do not interfere with an individual's Fourth Amendment rights. I could go into how search and seizure is defined and what is necessary for a warrant, but I want to go into a different direction and discuss how technology is changing the meaning of ; "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, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." These few words are meant to guarantee every person in the United States two basic liberties; the right to privacy and freedom from arbitrary intrusions. With advances in new technology, the phrase " unreasonable searches has become somewhat blurred. In Katz v United States, the Supreme Court ruled that although Katz was in a public venue (i.e. a phone booth with the door closed), he still had a reasonable expectation of privacy. This was the Supreme Court's attempt to make the Fourth Amendment adaptive to the changing surveillance technology. Although the court ruled in favor of the Defendant, there is still a lengthy gap between the availability of new technology to law enforcement and laws......

Words: 523 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Cja 394 Criminal Justice System Trends

...Criminal justice system is forever changing to protect and server society. Relationships between the United States government, state, and local policing looking at programs from the past, need changes for the future. State and local law enforcement responsibilities, and functions in fighting crime by enforcing laws, apprehending offenders, preventing crime, and preserving the peace, has changed since September 11, 2001. State law enforcement is expanding their responsibilities, changed from acts of terrorisms, new laws, and procedures of new types of crimes. Cyber-crime, new technology, terrorism, immigration, drug, and human trafficking contributing for changes in laws nationally and international. Need to identify and assess recent and future trends that affect the criminal justice system (Homeland Security and Law Enforcement” 2009) Western law combines contributions from ancient laws and Common law. The structure of laws came from England, their Bobbies (police officers), statutory, and case law. Sheriffs were the town’s authority, received taxes, and gave out punishment and banishing citizens. Common law highlighted in 1811 when English prison reformer and jurist, Jeremy Bentham wrote to President James Madison offering to codify the law of the United States. The bases of the nation’s laws are from the Constitutions, peruses as a constraint on police power the government can enact, guarding personal liberties. The Bill of Rights and the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and......

Words: 1467 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Children’s Internet Protection Act, 2000

...The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a federal law which was passed by Congress to allocate the offensive content over the Internet. The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires that K-12 schools and libraries in the United States use Internet filters and implement other measures to protect children from harmful online content as a condition for the receipt of certain federal funding. It was signed into law on December 21, 2000 and was found to be constitutional by the United States Supreme Court on June 23, 2003. CIPA obligates the schools and all public libraries to require filters on their computers to stop minors from accessing sites that are not appropriate. (Federal Communications Commission, n.d.) The (CIPA) was passed in December 2000. The main purpose of the CIPA is for the protection of children from obscene, child pornography and other dangers of the internet. CIPA does not precisely state what kind of filtering systems to use. This is the third law that Congress has passed to allocate concerns about the children’s access to the inappropriate Internet sites and it is the only one “that the U.S. Supreme Court found constitutionally defensible.” (Minnesota House of Representatives House Research, 2004) Our kids face online predators and other inappropriate things in chat rooms, online games, pictures of teens drinking, drugs, sexual messages, and even false information about them written online before they are eighteen. (Covenant Eyes, 2012)...

Words: 700 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Constitutional Law

...Constitutional Law Introduction Many people assume that a government acts from a vague position of strength and can enact any reg­u­lation it deems necessary or desirable. This chapter emphasizes a different perspective from which to view the law: action taken by the government must come from authority and this authority can­not be exceeded. Neither Congress nor any state may pass a law in conflict with the Constitution. The Constitution is the supreme law in this country. The Constitution is the source of federal power and to sus­tain the legality of a federal law or action a specific federal power must be found in the Constitution. States have inherent sov­ereign power—that is, the power to enact legislation that has a reasonable relationship to the welfare of the citizens of that state. The power of the federal government was delegated to it by the states while the power of the states was retained by them when the Constitution was ratified. The Constitution does not expressly give the states the power to regulate, but limits the states’ exer­cise of powers not delegated to the federal government. Chapter Outline I. The Constitutional Powers of Government Before the U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation defined the central government. A. A Federal Form of Government The U.S. Constitution established a federal form of government, delegating certain powers to the national government. The states......

Words: 8496 - Pages: 34

Premium Essay

Public Polivy

...Constitutional and Administrative Law Pad525 Week 8 Cyber-terrorism Submitted By Rodney Leak rodneyleak@gmail.com Submitted To: Dr. Udoh Udom May 27, 2011 If you have thoroughly read chapter 11 of Cooper, you would appreciate his analysis of the problems presented in the acquisition, use and dissemination of information. Information is power - this is why we are studying PAD 525. The government needs information for national security purposes. Terrorists and hackers find ways to access sensitive information from the government.  National secrets are at bay. Individual identities are no longer private because personal information are easily accessible along cyber-highway.  If you have also read the Patriot Act, you will note enormous anxiety on the part of the government to search for and use information for national security purposes. The government is not only trying to contain politically motivated terrorism, it is also trying to contain cyber-terrorism. Examine the security challenges and threats facing the US government through the lenses of the emerging cyber-security threats. Currently we are experiencing a boom in technology from computers that lets you stream movies to you television to phones that lets you take pictures and gives your exact global positioning systems location (gps). Here is the issue with all of the newly created science and research for development of these programs, there is someone who is vigorously trying to break into to......

Words: 671 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Company Law

...School of law, Christ university | Sedition: Analysis of Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code,1860 | Criminal Law-I CIA-III | | Rajeev Rambhatla | 1016272 | [Type the abstract of the document here. The abstract is typically a short summary of the contents of the document. Type the abstract of the document here. The abstract is typically a short summary of the contents of the document.] | TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.TABLE OF CONTENTS……………………………………………………………………… 1. 2. TABLES OF CASES AND STATUTES………………………………………… 2. 3. INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………………………… 3. 4. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY……………………………………………………………… 5. 5.  MEANING AND INTERPRETATION OF SECTION 124A THE LAW OF SEDITION IN INDIA BEFORE 1947………………… 7. 6.  MEANING AND INTERPRETATION OF S. 124A AFTER INDEPENDENCE……………………………………………………………………… 12. 7.  LAWS OF SEDITION IN INDIA, ENGLAND, AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A COMPARATIVE STUDY…… 14. 8. CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………………………………………20. 9. BIBLIOGRAPHY ……………………………………………………………………………………………22. INTRODUCTION “It is enough to say that in this country and in this generation the time for prosecuting political libels has passed, and does not seem likely to return within any definable time” -          Stephen, History of Criminal Law[1] This statement was made in the context of the United Kingdom by a well-known author on criminal law. More than 50 years after independence, it may well be said that the ‘time for prosecuting political libel’ has......

Words: 8574 - Pages: 35

Premium Essay

Party Platform

...and unequivocally support Roe v. Wade. (Sep 2012) Invest in stem cell and other medical research. (Nov 2006) Pursue embryonic stem cell research. (Jul 2004) Support right to choose even if mother cannot pay. (Jul 2004) Choice is a fundamental, constitutional right. (Aug 2000) Democratic Party on Budget & Economy Create an economy built to last & built from the middle out. (Sep 2012) Restore the budget discipline of the 1990s. (Nov 2006) Cut the deficit in half over the next four years. (Jul 2004) Democrats reversed economic stagnation of previous years. (Aug 2000) Democrats must continue to lead Americans to prosperity. (Aug 2000) G.O.P. creates debt, Dems create surpluses. (Aug 2000) Democrats will eliminate publicly held debt by 2012. (Aug 2000) Policy should encourage home ownership & affordable housing. (Aug 2000) Democratic Party on Civil Rights Enable disability access; plus 100,000 federal jobs. (Sep 2012) Equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. (Sep 2012) Racial and religious profiling is wrong. (Jul 2004) Keep marriage at state level; no federal gay marriage ban. (Jul 2004) Strengthen some parts of Patriot Act and change other parts. (Jul 2004) Support affirmative action to redress discrimination. (Jul 2004) Police should have zero tolerance of racial profiling. (Aug 2000) Pass hate crime legislation including gays. (Aug 2000) Democrats lead fight......

Words: 3138 - Pages: 13