The Patriot Act granted the government the ability to conduct searches that it had either previously been unable to conduct or that had been far more difficult. Included in the bill was the ability for the government to conduct secret searches and to collect data held by third parties as well as the ability for so called “roving wiretaps.” Section 213 allowed for secret searches, also called “sneak and peak” warrants which let government officials search a home or building without giving the owner prior notice, something that had long been required under common law. Critics of the law say that if a property owner is not present or aware of a search, they cannot point out inconsistencies with a warrant, leaving officers with unchecked power to exceed the scope of a warrant. However, this provision has meant that investigators can search the houses of criminals without giving them time to hide, move or destroy key evidence, thus jeopardizing an investigation. Another constituent of the act is the fact that it is now far easier for government officials to get records if it’s held by a third party. Under Section 215, internet service providers, libraries and universities must give officials...
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...ed the attacks, had been on the FBI’s radar but officials were unable to search the French national’s apartment because they had not connected him to any foreign terrorist organizations. Had the lone wolf fix been available, they may have been able to uncover the plot on Moussaoui’s laptop and possibly foiled the entire attack.
While the lone wolf provision and the Patriot Act may not be well liked by American citizens used to their privacy, they are useful in the war on terror. With each provision of the Patriot Act, officials have to prove reasonable suspicion and the lone wolf provision strictly applies to non United States persons, meaning citizens and permanent residents have nothing to fear. These provisions have clear benefits and the implications of allowing these to expire are a reduce effectiveness of the FBI and Homeland Security to keep this country safe.
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