Patriot Act Pro and Con

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Let’s look at a few cons of the Patriot Act.

"Under the Patriot Act, law enforcement officials may have broad access to any record — academic, library, financial and medical — without probable cause of a crime.

The Patriot Act prohibits the holder of such information, like university librarians, from disclosing that they have produced such records, under the threat of imprisonment.

A University of Illinois survey of U.S. public libraries found that at least 545 libraries have been asked for records by law enforcement in the year after Sept. 11, 2001.

According to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions officers, about 200 colleges and universities have turned over student information to the FBI, INS and other law enforcement agencies.

The Patriot Act further permits the FBI to employ campus police on a part-time basis to monitor political and religious activities on campus and to investigate student, faculty and staff background and activities.

For example, within the Georgetown community the Department of Public Safety has the right to find out what kinds of political and religious convictions students express in classes and around campus.

In addition, the Patriot Act broadly expands the definition of terrorism, so that student groups that engage in certain types of civil disobedience could be labeled as terrorists." - Patriot Act Encourages National Insecurity

CONS OF THE PATRIOT ACT: ATTACK ON PRIVACY
"… concern about potential abuses of data collection provisions could dampen citizen enthusiasm for carrying out electronic transactions with the government. The Act provides law enforcement officials with greater authority to monitor Internet activity such as electronic mail (e-mail) and Web site visits.

While law enforcement officials laud their new authorities as enabling them to better track terrorist and other criminal activity, privacy rights advocates worry that, in an attempt to track down and...
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