A month in a half after 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States, the USA Patriot Act passed Congress, it's also known as the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism” Act, or more simply, the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was created with the noble intention of finding and prosecuting international terrorists operating on American soil; however, the unfortunate consequences of the Act have been drastic. Many of the Patriot Act’s provisions are in clear violation of the U.S constitution, and that’s why I am against the USA Patriot Act. The Patriot Act basically gives almost unlimited anti- privacy powers to domestic law enforcement and international intelligence agencies. Privacy Invasions are one of the down falls of the Patriot Act. USAPA II dramatically widens the powers of government to invade the privacy of Americans and others living here. This includes, broad new authority to compel information from ISPs, friends, relatives, businesses and others, all without informing you. Immunity for businesses that voluntarily turn over your information to law enforcement. Extra punishment for use of cryptography no connection to terrorism needed. Instant police access to your credit reports upon certification that they are sought "in connection with their duties", again with no connection to terrorism needed. Relaxed requirement of specificity for warrants for multi-use devices like PDAs and computers with telephonic capabilities. DNA collected from all terrorism suspects/DNA database information open to all law enforcement. Less judicial oversight of surveillance. This is all completely wrong. Patriot virtually eliminates checks and balances that previously gave courts the opportunity to ensure that those powers were not abused, but the Act lets them do as they please and it’s not right. I am completely against the USA Patriot Act, it takes away our religious beliefs, our privacy and threatens our rights under the United States constitution. Here are some of the Amendments of the US Constitution that the USA Patriot Act threatens: First Amendment - Freedom of religion, speech, assembly,and the press. Fourth Amendment - Freedom from unreasonable searches
Fifth Amendment - No person to be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.
Sixth Amendment - Right to a speedy public trial by an
impartial jury, right to be informed of the facts of the accusation, right to confront witnesses and have the assistance of counsel. Eighth Amendment - No excessive bail or cruel and unusual punishment shall be imposed.
Fourteenth Amendment - All persons (citizens and non citizens) within the US are entitled to due process and the
equal protection of the laws.
The Act permits government to search citizens, as well as non- citizens, medical records, tax records, library records, the ability to listen on private phone conversations and the power to conduct secret searches on private, individual homes. They can also follow you around and catch you on government cameras, this is a serious problem to me they have no rules it seems like. The Act also is in direct conflict with the Forth Amendment of the United states, which states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, homes, papers, effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, should not be violated. The Amendment was designed to protect Americans from this very type of legislation. However, the 4th Amendment, and I quote, "rights of people to be secure in their persons, houses, paper, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated and no warrants shall be issued, but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or things seized." The Patriot Act, again I quote, " dramatically expanded the authority of the US law enforcement agencies for the stated purpose of fighting terrorism in the US and abroad. "When the 4th amendment was enacted, we didn't have all these problems with terrorism. I don't like the idea that they can monitor phone calls, e-mail, & medical financial records and other records either. The fact that they can do what they want when they want isn't right at all that is a violation of the U S Constitution as I know it. I was taught he constitution as it was originally written and this goes against all I have been taught. The Patriot Act is very confusing to me, based on my knowledge was an invasion of the American people, and in my opinion completely wrong.
Savage, Charles. Battle Looms Over the Patriot Act. September 19, 2009. The New York Times. February 18, 2013<http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/us/politics/20patriot.html?_r=0> Abrams, Jim. Patriot Act Extension Signed By Obama. May 27, 2011. Huffinftonpost.com. February 18, 2013< http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/27/patriot-act-extension-signed-obama-autopen_n_867851.html>
Heyes, J.D. Patriot Act documents to remain government secrets, rules federal judge. May 22,2012. Naturalnews.com. February 19,2013<http://www.naturalnews.com/035942_Patriot_Act_government_secrecy.html>