One of America’s founding father said that “those who surrender freedom for security
will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” Benjamin Franklin’s belief is especially relevant
today, following the introduction a Big Brother-like Act of Congress, the USA Patriot Act. In
such a case, which employs draconian methods to stop terrorists, an important question must be
asked: Should we give up our constitutional rights to facilitate the prosecution of terrorists? I
believe that the USA Patriot Act is an ineffective tool to combat terrorism because it legalises a
series of unconstitutional provisions used to combat terrorism. The Patriot Act is not
constitutionally sound because it promotes surveillance programs, strengthens the use of
National Security Letters and violates the moral code set by the Constitution.
What is the Patriot Act?
The USA Patriot Act was signed into law on October 26th, 2001 as a result of the
September 11, 2001 attacks. The act’s title stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by
Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (“What Is The USA
Patriot”). The act consists of 10 titles, which share the common goal of preventing and
punishing future terrorist attacks. The implemented provisions range from providing victims
financial compensation to obtaining otherwise confidential information.
President Bush originally signed the act in 2001, and President Obama later renewed
important clauses that were set to “sunset”, or expire, in 2005 and once again in 2010
(Grabianowski, “How The Patriot Act Works”). The clauses that were going to sunset were the
ability to use roving wiretaps, to share for...
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... and Li Hung. The Patriot Act issues and controversies. Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas
Publisher, 2010. Print.
10. Swann, Ben. "Reality Check: Has the Patriot Act thwarted 42 terror attacks? - FOX19.com-Cincinnati News,
Weather & Sports." Cincinnati & N. KY news, weather & sports from FOX19 WXIX - FOX19.com-Cincinnati News,
Weather & Sports. N.p., 7 Dec. 2011. Web. 17 Oct. 2013.
11. Temple-Raston, Dina. "Terrorism Case Shows Range Of Investigators' Tools." NPR. NPR, 3 Oct. 2009. Web. 16
12. "What is the USA Patriot Web." Welcome to the United States Department of Justice. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct.
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