The Dangerous Rise of Government Surveillance: The Patriot Act Essays

The Dangerous Rise of Government Surveillance: The Patriot Act Essays

Length: 1107 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

"The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the force of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter -- but the King of England cannot enter; all this force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement" (William Pitt the Elder). This idea of freedom and security against the government was the foundation for the United States when it was established in 1776. However, times have drastically changed since then. More specifically, the horrifying terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 led to a devastated, panicked, safety-seeking country. To “fight the present danger” (George W. Bush) that our country was facing, a bill named the USA Patriot Act was drafted and quickly passed on October 25, 2001, less than forty-five days of the attacks. This bill allows broad surveillance, secret search and seizures, and extreme privacy issues. By extensively expanding government surveillance and investigative powers, the Patriot Act unconstitutionally poses a huge threat to this nation’s civil liberties.
This USA Patriot Act now grants law enforcement agencies the power to broadly access American citizen’s Internet searches, telephone calls, text messages, and emails in anti-terrorism investigations and even in smaller, everyday criminal investigations. “There is evidence that the government has phone record metadata on all Verizon customers, and probably on every American, going back seven years. This metadata is extremely revealing; investigators mining it might be able to infer whether we have an illness or an addiction, what our religious affiliations and political activities are, and so on” (Granick, Sprigman). This mass level of survei...

... middle of paper ...

...en though we are supposed to have the right to freedom of symbolic assembly and petition. It violates the Fifth Amendment because often times when a suspect terrorist is taken into custody they do not get a grand jury to tell them if there is enough evidence to go to trial. There have been many cases in the last ten years where both American and immigrant suspects are indefinitely detained with little to no evidence that they are even related to any act of terrorism.
Since the Patriot Act’s passage in 2001, several legal challenges have been brought against it until federal courts ruled that a number of provisions were unconstitutional.

Works Cited

Granick, Sprigman. "The Criminal N.S.A." The New York Times. N.p., 27 June 2013. Web. 11 Oct. 2013.

"How the USA Pariot Act Redefines Terrorism." American Civil Liberties Union. N.p., 6 Dec. 2002. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Patriot Act: Trampling on the Bill of Rights Essay

- 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....   [tags: US Constitution vs. The Patriot Act]

Strong Essays
2024 words (5.8 pages)

Essay about Events that Led up to the Creation of the Patriot Act

- The Patriot Act was created in the year of 2001, the same year that the tragic day, 9.11, occurred. On September 11th, 2001, 19 terrorists working for Al-Qaeda hijacked four planes, and caused this day to be forever remembered in the history of the United States. At 8:46 AM on September 11th, the first hijacked plane (American Airlines Flight 11) crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Specifically, it crashed into the 93-99th floors, trapping everyone on the floors above. Many people had doubts about this being a terrorist attack; they thought that it was just an accident....   [tags: terrorist attacks]

Strong Essays
2053 words (5.9 pages)

The Patriot Act : Combating Terrorism Essay

- The Patriot Act There are many ways our country and the rest of the world is repelling terrorism. First, the United States and the Bush Administration created the Patriot Act; it involves the improvement of domestic security. It also contains beefing up surveillance measures throughout the country and added more laws to counteract money laundering. The Patriot Act also contains fortification of our border security. Also, the Patriot Act eliminates obstructions to investigate terrorism. The Patriot Act also boosted information sharing for critical infrastructure protection and also the classification of terrorism and how to contend with terrorism was enhanced by the patriot act....   [tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Terrorism]

Strong Essays
1218 words (3.5 pages)

Patriot Act: Is it Necessary for our Safety? Essay

- Do you feel safe from terrorist attacks. Americans are constantly threatened by people inside and outside of our country. Either by terrorist groups or crazed individuals, the U.S has to have a way to protect itself from these threats. But how can we obtain information before an attack so that citizens are protected. On September 11, 2001 our security was compromised. “On that day, terrorists destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center and severely damaged the Pentagon building using hijacked commercial airliners as weapons of mass destruction....   [tags: policies after terrorist attacks]

Strong Essays
1118 words (3.2 pages)

The PATRIOT Act is Necessary, Lawful and Effective Essay

- Two thousand nine hundred people from fifty-four countries were killed on September 11, 2001. In response to this tragedy, the United States of America passed the USA PATRIOT Act, an acronym standing for Uniting and strengthening America by providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, on October 26, 2001. The act gives law enforcement agencies and the Foreign Intelligence Agency the right to share information. It also allows these agencies to tap phones and gather other forms of information using delayed notice warrants....   [tags: terrorism]

Strong Essays
1805 words (5.2 pages)

Supporting the US Patriot Act Essay

- The US Patriot Act should stay in effect indefinitely because it helps to remove barriers to investigate terrorism, it strengthens the criminal laws against terrorism, and it gives the government the authority to intercept wire, oral and electronic communications relating to terrorism. "Originally passed after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Patriot Act was formed in response to the terrorist attacks against the United States. This law dramatically expanded the authority of American law enforcement for the stated purpose of fighting terrorism in the United States....   [tags: Privacy]

Strong Essays
915 words (2.6 pages)

The Importance of the USA Patriot Act Essay

- The Importance of the USA Patriot Act The United States government changed the face of computer and internet use when it signed the USA Patriot Act on October 26, 2001. This act was created in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11 that same year. Many people believe that this act is a good thing and will help in defense against any future attacks. What most people do not know, however, is the effect of this act on the more general public. This includes individual people, public libraries, colleges and universities, and even trucking or hauling companies....   [tags: Politics Political]

Strong Essays
1206 words (3.4 pages)

2001 USA Patriot Act is Unconstitutional and Ineffective Essays

- I. Introduction      In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks US Congress passed legislation known as the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 commonly known as the USA Patriot Act. This paper will attempt to prove that not only is the USA Patriot Act unconstitutional but many of its provisions do nothing at all to protect Americans from the dangers of terrorism. While this act made legislative changes that increased surveillance and the investigative powers of law enforcement agencies to protect America from further terrorist acts, the passing of the USA Patriot Act has reduced the priva...   [tags: Politics Government Privacy]

Strong Essays
2102 words (6 pages)

The Patriot Act Infringes on American Freedom Essay

- The Patriot Act Infringes on American Freedom September 11, 2001 started off as a beautiful, sunny day, like many other countless days in America; however, it will now be a day that will live on in infamy. As the news played the shot of the planes driving into the sides of the twin towers, fear was driven into the hearts of all Americans.  People became panicked and demanded that there be a better way for the United States government to protect its people from any future attacks the terrorist might have planned.  This fear was the main contributing factor to the birth of all kinds of new legislation, giving the government new rights to “fight the terrorist.” The most powerful, and therefo...   [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Argument Essays]

Strong Essays
755 words (2.2 pages)

The Patriot Act Abuses Civil Liberties Essay

- "The American people are beginning to realize that this piece of legislation poses a threat to our God-given freedoms protected by the U.S. Constitution." In the following viewpoint, John F. McManus claims that the USA Patriot Act, which was passed in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, gives the president authority and powers that are not limited to the pursuit of terrorists. McManus warns that the act licenses snooping on U.S. citizens, including the seizure of business records, the collecting of e-mails, and the wiretapping of phone calls....   [tags: Political Science]

Free Essays
1584 words (4.5 pages)