The Patriot Act: Right or Wrong

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The PATRIOT Act: Right or Wrong.
On September 11th of 2001 the United States was attacked. Many people died and through that drama the United States was unified with a singular goal of stopping terrorism. While many people were willing to sacrifice a few freedoms for the greater good, others were asking where is the line between the government fighting terrorism and abusing a situation to expand its dominion over the public. The United States government passed a bill called the PATRIOT Act to simplify procedures, relax rule sets on prosecution and give the government more jurisdiction into the personal lives of the populace by allowing surveillance techniques like roving wire taps and data mining without provocation or court order. While many officials state that this act is a crucial tool in the war on terror, others argue that it is unconstitutional and taking away the freedoms the government is supposed to protect. This difference in opinion has raised the question of how much privacy should the population be willing to give up to support the war on terror. The PATRIOT Act is walking a dangerous line and it would be irresponsible to accept it without research into the pros and cons, which are not equal. Although the act does have a few benefits, it goes too far over that line by giving the far too much power to the government while taking away too many freedoms.

There is no question that terrorism is bad and it is a good thing for people to see a government standing up against those that are willing to hurt the innocent. After the events of 9/11 it was generally accepted that one of the reasons the terrorists were so successful was because there was a blatant failure of communication. This failure of agencies communicating caused a gap in security which was capitalized on. What ensued was a level of chaos and destruction performed on civilians not seen in quite some time and one of the worst terrorist acts ever to befall the United States. The crisis lead to agency heads trying to come up with a solution that would give the government the upper hand when defending our shores and fighting the newly launched war on terrorism. What they came up with was the USA PATRIOT act which was passed almost unanimously. On paper the ' Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism', or USA PATRIOT, Act is a great idea. Due to the intelligence system in place and the many divisions it is broken into it can be quite the hassle getting information to circulate. Our legal system requires certain procedures to be followed when sharing information and the PATRIOT Act simplifies this by taking away the restrictions so every government agency can speak freely to each other about potential threats and the information gathered about them. Since terrorism can come from anywhere and be executed in many ways, more than one agency can get information through their own means of surveillance and with this act they aren't restricted with their information and can get it to the appropriate people fast enough to quell the threat before any dangerous action can be committed. This is made possible by removing restrictions and auto approving actions so nothing has to be approved by agency heads or court systems. Many officials point out that removing these restrictions has streamlined the process and helped tremendously. In the November issue of Congressional Digest, Tom Ridge stated "The Department sees communication as a two-way process: We collect information from the field and listen to what you, our partners, need from us to do your jobs better. This means heightened awareness, better intelligence, wiser decisions, and improved coordination at every level" (2004). What most people who are for the act fail to mention is how this affects the regular men and women of the public.

All of these removed restriction policies also apply to the citizens of the United States. Any...
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