This essay patriot act has a total of 586 words and 3 pages.
Do some sections of the Patriot Act give Government Agencies to much power?
The Patriot Act has become a controversial topic within many different courthouses in the United States. The Patriot Act is a provision of the laws created by the U.S. government to help fight the threat of terrorism. What the Patriot Act does is reduces restrictions on law enforcement agencies abilities to search through people?s personal information such as: emails, phone records, medical records, financial statements, and other records. One of the biggest concerns with the power the Patriot Act is the power it gives law enforcement officers is the power to detain immigrants for possible future deportation.
Since the enactment of the Patriot Act there have been multiple revisions made by the House that extend the surveillance capabilities of government agencies. One of these provisions that were extended was the ?Lone Wolf? provision which allowed government agencies to perform surveillance of individuals and groups not identified or associated with terrorist groups. Another provision that was extended was the ?Library Law? which allowed government agencies the right to confiscate or access insubstantial items of individuals under surveillance.
In 2001, laws did not exist regarding Internet surveillance. As the Internet grew, authorities relied on pre-Internet era wiretap laws to gather information. Essentially, whenever law enforcement personnel wanted access to Internet addresses (URLs), they sought authorization through the ?pen register? and ?trap and trace? laws of telephone surveillance. Pen registers capture the phone numbers of outgoing telephone calls. Trap and trace devices capture incoming phone numbers. Neither method captures the actual content of a telephone call, so investigators could obtain a search warrant without establishing probable cause that a crime was being committed. When faced with Internet surveillance requests, some judges applied the telephone surveillance rules, but others refused. In Section 216, the Patriot Act specifically applies pen register and trap-and-trace law to the Internet. Moreover, pen registers and trap and trace wiretaps are valid nationwide, not just in the jurisdiction of the court that approved it. The section does not permit examination of the content of a communication.
Title II also gives the government broad authority to share ?electronic, wire, and oral interception information? gleaned from an investigation with other federal agencies. Pursuant to FISA, it also allows authorities to compel Internet service providers to disclose information about a user?s e-mail activity, and to compel businesses to turn over personal information related to a criminal investigation. Moreover, section 213 provides that authorities executing a search warrant may delay notice of the search under certain circumstances. Critics allege this delay impinges upon a person?s right to challenge the constitutionality of the search. Provisions in Title II have been successfully employed in non-terrorist cases. In an address to Congress on July 13, 2004, Attorney General John Ashcroft noted several instances where provisions in Title II were used in domestic criminal investigations. The cases cited involved sexual predators and electronic surveillance under sections 210 and 212 of the act.
The Patriot Act is considered very controversial because many feel it violates constitutional rights and provides sweeping power to government agencies to monitor the personal habits of not only those who have been identified as suspected terrorists, but anyone residing in the United States as well as United States citizens residing out of the country. The government feels that with enactment of the Patriot Act it?ll have a better chance of preventing future terrorist attacks upon American soil.
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