After the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001, the struggle
between fighting terrorism and privacy issues has become harder and harder to fairly
According to many Americans, acts such as the USA Patriot Act and the
Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, which were both created to give law
enforcement agencies and intelligence-gathering authorities greater latitude to search
out and investigate suspected terrorists, infiltrate their basic civil liberties and rights
as American citizens.
While many people are against these acts, there are still those
that believe they will help in defense against any future attacks.
On October 26, 2001, the United States government signed the USA Patriot
Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to
Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act) in hopes of deterring and punishing terrorist
acts by enhancing law enforcement investigatory tools (Gable).
legislation has denied American citizens some of their basic rights, particularly the
Fourth Amendment which protects citizens against unreasonable searches and
seizures (“Questions About,” 2007, para. 2).
The government’s reasoning behind
these searches and seizures is to better anticipate terrorist plots by performing
“roving” wiretaps, conducting secret searches, and gaining access to bank accounts,
and medical, mental health, and student records (§206, §507).
The act authorizes law
enforcement agencies secretly search a suspected terrorist’s home.
It also permits the
government to screen a suspect’s Internet activity, financial records, book purchases,
phone conversations, as well as legally open a suspect’s mail (Bardes, Mack, &