The Patriot Act Is Not Really A Tool Essay

The Patriot Act Is Not Really A Tool Essay

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One of the main grievances of the Patriot Act is that “its powers are too broad or open to misuse” (“The Patriot Act”), which has allowed it to “become a common tactic in cases that have nothing to do with national security” (“Surprise! Controversial Patriot”). Julian Sanchez, a research fellow at the Cato Institute, claims that “the Patriot Act is not really a ‘tool’; it 's a toolbox; and the debate currently unfolding… is not over whether to take the box away; it 's about whether and how particular tools can be” implemented (“The Patriot Act”). One main provision, or tool, called into question is Section 213, which allows for ‘sneak and peek’ search warrants, which “let authorities search a home or business without immediately notifying the target of a probe” (Abramson et. al). While the provision was originally intended to be used only for cases involving terrorism or potential national security threats, it has strayed from that purpose and is being applied to lesser crimes. In 2009, of all the ‘sneak and peek’ searches, 73.7% dealt with drugs and 4.8% dealt with fraud, while a minute 0.5% dealt with terrorism (Cook). The Electronic Frontier Foundation conducted an analysis of the use of this provision, over the last few years, for drug investigations in specific.
Out of the 3,970 total requests from October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010, 3,034 were for narcotics cases and only 37 for terrorism cases (about 0.9%). The 2011 report reveals a total of 6,775 requests. 5,093 were used for drugs, while only 31 (or 0.5%) were used for terrorism cases. The 2012 report follows a similar pattern: Only 0.6%, or 58 requests, dealt with terrorism cases. In 2013, out of 11,129 reports only 51, or 0.5%, of requests were used for terrorism. T...


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...isions of the Patriot Act. The need to repeal or drastically alter the Patriot Act can be justified by the strong opposition from multiple different interest groups.
The USA PATRIOT Act was passed in haste during a period of mass hysteria after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. While the intentions of the act were honorable, its execution and implementation have left much to be desired. In the several years following its enactment, the legislation has been the cause of much controversy and public discontent. The main grievance with the act is the vagueness with which it is worded, allowing it to be applied to a multitude of cases that do not deal with terrorism. This fault has been contested by several interest groups, involved in the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. Therefore, the Patriot Act should be repealed or drastically changed in the coming years.

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