Patriot Act

Patriot Act - Meyer 1 Alex Meyer Professor Allen Settle...

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Meyer 1 Alex Meyer Professor Allen Settle Pols 112 17 March 2008 USA Patriot Act At 8:45 a.m. on September 11, 2001, hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the south tower of the world trade center. Roughly one month later, President George W. Bush signed into law the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, better known as the USA Patriot Act. The purpose of the patriot act was to strengthen national security, and give our government programs and officials the tools necessary to protect the nation from terrorists. The legislation ran virtually unopposed in both the Senate and the House, with neither able to see the unrest it would cause with regards to civil liberty. Though the act has remained in effect, growing concerns about its application, renewals, and encroachments on the constitution, have sparked nationwide examination of this anti-terrorist bill. Applications of the Patriot Act: During the course of the early years after the Patriot act was singed into law, its provisions affected many Americans lives. In order to successfully evaluate the patriot act, one must understand some of the most crucial sections of the act, and how each are applied. Title II involves surveillance procedures and tends to remain one of the most controversial in the eyes of Americans. There are 25 sections in this title, each with the
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Meyer 2 ultimate goal to increase the power, and spectrum of surveillance that the government is legally able to conduct. Section 206 discusses the ability of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) to use roving wiretaps to collect foreign intelligence for use in national security issues. Roving wiretaps were a controversial provision of the Patriot act, due mostly to the lack of information about surveillance that was required to be disclosed by government agencies. The implications from this were that the government no longer needs to disclose the exact location of where the surveillance is being performed, something that was previously only allowed in criminal investigations. Coupled with the Intelligence Authorization Act, which was passed soon after the Patriot act, intelligence agencies were allotted the power, not only to withhold information about where the surveillance was being preformed, but also to withhold information on whom the surveillance was directed at. Due to the possible infringement on the fourth amendment that this section may cause, or have caused, the legislation included that the tap may roam only from device to device. This differs from previous legislation because under criminal law, the government is required to ascertain a court order for each separate device, proving that the subject in question was known to have been using that device. The Patriot act does not administer such a requirement to the FISA. The use of this tactic effectively put a “tap” on the person, rather than just devices that he or she may
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2008 for the course POLS 112 taught by Professor Settle during the Winter '08 term at Cal Poly.

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Patriot Act - Meyer 1 Alex Meyer Professor Allen Settle...

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