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The Un-Patriotic Act commonly referred to as the USA patriot Act came into law ten years ago. The initial names were aimed at Uniting and Strengthening American people (Mayeux, 2009). The main aim of the Act was to provide necessary tools in the interception and obstruction of terrorism activities. The Act was tremendously passed into law ACLU (2011), but the impact of the law would interfere with civil liberties and secrecy rights. The views were aired by Senator Russ Feingold.
The Un-Patriotic Act also known as Patriotic Act was signed into law in October 26, 2001 by the then president George W. Bush. The title of the Act USA PATRIOT stands for U-uniting, S-strengthening, and A-America by, P-providing, A-appropriate, T-tools, R-required to, I-intercept and O-obstruct, T-terrorism (Khaki & ACLU, 2011).
The Act reduced confinements on law enforcement authorities’ ability to check the communications systems through telephone and electronic mail means, health, fiscal and other relevant records. Some people argue Patriotic Act is necessary as it helps in cubing terrorism. At one time, a group of six Yemeni-Americans were convicted of providing material support to al-Qaida (Fletcher, 2011).
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The office of the secretary of the treasury was elevated to regulate international fiscal matters. The illegal immigrants were detained and deported to their home countries. The Patriotic Act expanded the meaning of terrorism (Mayeux, 2009). Terrorism was classified to as the domestic terrorism and the international terrorism (Fletcher, 2011). America has been experiencing increased domestic terrorism activities committed by American citizens. They were commonly referred to as the ‘lone wolves’. In fact, Lone wolves posed significant threats in America.
The Patriotic Act was concerned with enhancing security against domestic and international terrorism, improving surveillance procedures, preventing money laundering, increasing border security Fletcher (2011) reducing obstructions to investigations of terrorism, improving the sharing of information, setting up anti-terrorism law, enhanced intelligence.
The Patriotic Act received resistance by a number of people. The major point that came out of it involved the indefinite detention of immigrants. Indefinite detention is the state of being imprisoned by law enforcers without trial (ACLU, 2011). This is a violation of the human rights. The American government does this in the umbrella that individuals are the enemy to the human kind and ae possible terrorism organizers.
The Patriotic Act has restricted the rights of individual Americans. This has been done by the invasion of privacy. The Patriotic Act has expanded the application of National Security Letters, which allows the law enforcers to search telephones, electronic mails, fiscal records without a court order. The business premises were subject to regular searches not leaving behind the homes of people (Mayeux, 2009). Individual Americans lacked privacy at all. This has led to various legal authorities going to court to challenge the Patriotic Act. Some of the provisions in the Patriotic Act are unconstitutional.
The Patriotic Act has been experiencing various battles. Some supporters in 2005 rallied to making it permanent while some critics suggested on the revision of some critical clauses. The Patriotic Act had to be revised especially on areas affecting the liberty of the American people (Mayeux, 2009).
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The critics argue that the Patriotic Act was passed into law opportunistically. The effect of the twin towers bomb blast in September 11 2001. There were fewer discussions and consultations made in regards to the law (Dinzeo, 2011). This generated controversy and heated debate on the legality of the Patriotic Act. The law invades the privacy of the American people. The communications privacy was also breached. This meant that the law will interdict innocent American citizens and sees them as involved in terrorism (ACLU, 2011).
There have been huge constitutional costs as well as economical costs. The critics have gone to court on several occasions. The critics are always demanding the remove of clauses that go against the human rights. The Patriotic Act has been having various extensions in terms of the period the act is valid.
A privacy incident Cleary experienced involved the Canadian people and firms in the provinces of the British Columbia. Patriotic Act says that it has the right to do the relevant searches. This has provoked the government of British Columbia to search the people and private firms in the British Columbia. This is a clear illustration on the conflict of interested between the two neighboring governments (Dinzeo, 2011).
The Patriotic Act has increased the security of America by many ways. The intelligent surveillance has been on watch on the daily happenings. This has made the security tight and easy to predict any on coming danger. It has also managed to instill fear to people who would be planning to exxercise terrorism (Meadows, 2005). Monitoring has angered several people and has gone to the court to challenge the legality of the Patriotic Act (Khaki & ACLU, 2011).
There are contentions sections that infringement the rights of individual American rights. Section 215 ACLU (2011), states that the government have the right to obtain ant tangible thing in suspicion of terrorism activities. The government has no right to prove its claims. This is against the human rights.
Section 206 ACLU (2011), states that the government have the right to obtain surveillance on any person or property. Section 2006 ACLU (2011) permits the intelligence of the non-US people. This is an abuse of the human rights. The three main contentious clauses are subject to critics and should be reviewed. The persons of America see it as a restriction to the rights of Americans. The Patriotic Act invades on the meaning of the freedom of expression. People are kept in worry because they absolutely know they are monitored (Carlson, 2011).
The Patriotic Act has increased the cyber insecurity. The government counter terrorism section will have too much at tomes not interpreting the information in time and others leading to misinterpretation. The policies fail because they infringe the human right and they are ineffective in their operations.
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The security of America has not much improved. The enactment of the Patriotic Act has not been worth the cost involved. Taking an example, there has been 190,000 national security letters issued to people and businesses without the court approval. Out of the many letters, there is only one that has a terrorist link (ACLU, 2011). This means the Patriotic Act is not worth the effort being put.
The Patriotic Act has brought about the economic injustice. The law hinders the free business transactions. The infringement on the freedom of the Americans is unconstitutional. Americans should be set free of monitoring by the government (Carlson, 2011).
Terrorism is a threat to the United States of America. When it comes to security, the government does not take any chances whatsoever. The main challenge comes in the balancing of security and infringement of the basic human rights. This has led to many court battles challenging the Patriotic Act. The critics have highlighted the different sections that need review. Many cities have passed a resolution against Patriotic Act (Carlson, 2011).
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