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AMER GOV TERRORISM PRIVACY - The Balance Between Fighting...

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The Balance Between Fighting Terrorism and Privacy Issues Bailey Hixon Dr. Jean Howard-Hill, Instructor POL 101 American Government Political Science Department University of Tennessee Chattanooga Fall Semester – 2007
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2 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 uphold. 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). This antiterrorist 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
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