the patriot act - Rhetoric 10/25/07 The Patriot Act Right...

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Rhetoric 10/25/07 The Patriot Act Right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is what the constitution guarantees us as citizens. Living in America we are granted so many freedoms and benefits compared to other countries. Not only do Americans have the right of choice, but also the right of privacy. In a perfect world, there would be no terrorism and no wars. This, however, is not a perfect world so we have to learn to adapt in order to protect our own countries and citizens. The Patriot Act which was signed a little more than a month after the September 11th attacks in 2001 was created to allow the government to invade the privacy of people’s lives in order to keep terrorism out of the country. Many people are upset about it, but then there are some who agree with the act. The Patriot Act may have its benefits in which it can protect the United States, but overall is seen as an assault on civil liberties. Parts of the act just formalize and specify government conduct that is unregulated. Other parts expand the government’s powers and allow them to invade or spy on citizens without probable cause. “The act removed the major legal barriers that prevented the law enforcement, intelligence, and national defense communities from talking and coordinating their work to protect the American people and our national security” (DOJ). There may be more options and legal opportunities for the government to raid the privacy of others, but there is an absence of any knowledge about how the act has been used. This can create fear about the acts potential since we don’t know what the government is getting away with.
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Several major cities and three states have now passed resolutions denouncing the Patriot Act. There have also been lawsuits urging the court to invalidate provisions of the act that threaten privacy. One lawsuit against the Patriot Act was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. They claimed that section 215 violates the Constitution and “vastly expands the power of the FBI to obtain records and other ‘tangible things’ of people not suspected of criminal activity” ( Lithwick ). Section 215 does extend FBI power to conduct essentially warrantless record searches even on those who are not themselves terror suspects. In the A.C.L.U., there is a fact sheet that wants people to believe that the act threatens our most basic civil liberties. There have
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the patriot act - Rhetoric 10/25/07 The Patriot Act Right...

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