The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001: Need for National Security vs. Protection of Civil Liberties

The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001: Need for National Security vs. Protection of Civil Liberties

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In a post-September 11th America, it is not uncommon for the mentioning of the word “terrorist” to spark any number of emotions in its citizens. In response to activities such as the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, as well as the 2001 anthrax scares, Congress proposed the USA PATRIOT Act. Supporters of the Act cite the importance and immeasurable need for greater protection in terms of national security, which is the government’s responsibility first and foremost to protect its citizens from enemies foreign and domestic. However, for every proponent there is an equally passionate opponent who partially believe not only does the Act impede on civil liberties and individual rights but was an opportunistic ploy to grant excess power to the government in the wake of September 11th empathy.
USA PATRIOT is what is referred to as a “backronym”, or a title from which is construed from a pre-existing word. The phrase itself stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, 2014). While the goals and provisions outlined in the original and supplemental Act documents aim to accomplish what the title implies, there are still an increasing number of opponents to its contents. The Act of Congress, of which was originally signed in to law by former President George W. Bush in 2001, has been at the focus of political, media, and private scrutiny since its conception. While its proponents argue the need for government immersion to combat the probability of future and/or current terrorist activity and nation security concerns, adversaries question the scale of impedance on individual civil liberties. Specific subjects of contro...

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...ue over specifics for years to come, the important thing is that a happy medium between a secure and protected nation and the freedoms and rights of its citizens remain the foremost concern.

Works Cited

• Edward Snowden. (2013). Retrieved from Wikipedia:
• Justice, D. o. (n.d.). The USA PATRIOT ACT: Perserving Life & Liberty. Retrieved from Department of Justice:
• McNeill, J. B. (2011, February 10). The PATRIOT Act and the Constitution. Retrieved from The Heritage Foundation:
• Surveillance Under the USA PATRIOT Act. (2010, December). Retrieved from ACLU: American Civil Liberties Union:
• USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, H.R. 3162 (One Hundred Seventh Congress of the United States 2001).
• USA PATRIOT Act of 2001. (2014, March). Retrieved from Wikipedia:

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