US Patriot Act Term Paper

Pages: 10 (3180 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 9  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Terrorism

U.S. Patriot Act

How the U.S. Patriot Act facilitates foreign intelligence operations

Patriot Act has been helping the FBI with efforts of sharing information. The Act has made significant contributions through its information sharing provisions. The provision of information sharing has formalized the directorate of FBI intelligence. According to the consolidate appropriations of this Act, the FBI has been given the mandate to implement a new intelligence directorate. The necessity for capabilities of intelligence has cut across various programs of the FBI. This has done away with stove piping of information while enabling the FBI to adapt quickly to the changing threats. Experts have projected that this will work on improving the capability of FBI to share intelligence. This is not only between the intelligence community and the Bureau, but also across local and state law enforcement (Dempsey & Forst, 2012).

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The renewal of the provisions of the U.S. Patriot Act has been crucial with respect to intelligence and information sharing to fulfill the responsibilities of the new Directorate of FBI. This was envisioned by the U.S. congress. This subject revolves around two major components. The first issue relates to the legal authorities, the collection of intelligence, and policies governing the collection of intelligence are evident. The second component is how the authorities share the collected information. The Patriot Act has granted the collection authorities that concern many organizations and individuals. In this context, the FBI is dedicated to carrying out its mission in consistency with the constitution's protection provision. Agents in the FBI have been trained to appreciate and understand the responsibility of protecting and respecting the law as they seek to enforce it. It is not an option to accord respect to the constitutional liberties; this is mandatory for all employees of the FBI. The FBI would be irrelevant and would not exist in the absence of this mandate (Abele, 2005).

Term Paper on US Patriot Act Assignment

The authority of the FBI to collect intelligence has been clearly defined in the law; the chief law enforcer (AG) is charged with directing this authority. The collection of information is conducted based on the president's intelligence priorities. Moreover, the Attorney General has the mandate to inspect each step of this process. Immediately after opening counterintelligence or international terrorism intelligence case, both the Justice department and the Headquarters are notified (Smith & Hung, 2009). The department of justice in collaboration with the section of intelligence policy reviews all cases related to terrorism. The collection authorities working under FBI control the federal courts. A federal judge must approve all wiretaps and search warrants for counterterrorism and counterintelligence agents. The judge requires that they provide a formal proof of their course of action to acquire a FISA Warrant. Agents of the FBI disseminate and collect intelligence under guidelines protecting the U.S. citizens. The agency is committed towards reasonably using its resources and authorities (Freedman, 2008).

Issues arise relating to the pooling of information even when they have been gathered legally. For intelligence to be effective, it requires skilled dissemination and analysis to fulfill the needs of clients inside and outside the FBI. The Director of FBI is charged with managing the overall cycle of intelligence. This seeks to ensure that the FBI has the dissemination, analysis, reporting and collection capacity required to protect the country. FBI's capability is founded on information sharing. Effective capabilities of FBI intelligence depend on how the intelligence collection is integrated and second, operations of criminal investigations. During the 9/11 terrorist attacks, various rules that had been widely misunderstood in light of the hijacker's information (Abele, 2005).

The FBI could not share any information. Therefore, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) agents were unable to share intelligence with prosecutors and agents working on criminal investigations. Agents and prosecutors involved in the case could not find information involving the case. Similarly, international terrorism agents investigating the case could not any way of knowing the appropriate information from the criminal agency might be important in counterterrorism investigations. Although the agencies had all the legal capabilities of sharing intelligence, the complex nature of the law forced them to be cautious in making errors of sharing information. Additionally, the absence of a network for intelligence sharing only discouraged the intelligence investigators and the criminals from taking about their cases. In this context, the most investigators did not have any idea of what information could have been useful to share with their counterparts. This was attributed to the legal wall that existed between criminal investigators and FISA intelligence Agents (Smith & Hung, 2009).

The U.S. Patriot Act demolished this legal wall between the two departments. Intelligence agents and law enforcement have been able to coordinate investigations of terrorism with utmost confidence of working in the premises of the law as required. Section 203 of the U.S. Patriot Act has authorized the sharing of foreign information acquired in surveillance across other federal officials like intelligence officers, national security officials and DOD officials (Hess & Orthmann, 2011). If section 203 of this Act expires, it would enable agents of the FBI to share certain foreign intelligence data gathered through wiretaps of criminal investigation services including MI-5. However, it would arguably be restricted to share that same intelligence with officials of the CIA. This result would not conform to the recently implemented 2004 reforms and Terrorism Prevention Act. This Act has encompassed various provisions meant to promote sharing of information across various departments of the federal government (Dempsey & Forst, 2012).

For example, section 203 of the Act has permitted information sharing across the U.S. national center for counterterrorism. The counter terrorism center has the right to receive any intelligence information gathered by its agents including global terrorism information gathered by the law enforcement community (Jordan & Jordan, 2009). Pursuant to section 203 under the U.S. Patriot Act, intelligence disseminated to the counterterrorism center is applied in accordance to three main missions of the center:

I. Producing an analysis of all-source terrorism

II. Updating useful database for the federal officials to fight any form of terrorists from penetrating into U.S. borders and III. Ensuring appropriate agencies receive and have access to all vital sources of intelligence required to execute their plans of counterterrorism or perform alternative analysis

The FBI depends on section 203 as stipulated in the U.S. Patriot Act for its provision of information pertaining to the analysis of international terrorism. This encompasses national security, national defense, immigration, protective and intelligence information linked to international terrorism (Abele, 2005). Evidently, the U.S. Patriot Act has authorized law enforcers to disclose any counterintelligence or international intelligence information to various departments of the federal government. This is done without withstanding any form of legal restriction. Without the provisions of this Act, non-FBI officials would not have access to such FBI information. This could put them back to the pre 9/11 era of uncertainties concerning authorities of information sharing. The congress decision to sunset the provisions of the law reflected the inappropriate nature of obtaining full information sharing and intelligence. In such a case, law enforcement officials will have to work in a complex legal era. This would continue to generate more errors on the side of caution that refrain the officials from sharing terrorism information (Bidgoli, 2006).

In addition, the U.S. Patriot Act has facilitated the ability of the counterterrorism center to offer a strategic analysis to actionable leads and policy makers within the intelligence and FBI community. This has helped to transcend indigenous government boundaries. The center for counterterrorism has confirmed the increase in the number of suspected terrorist napped at the U.S. border because of the U.S. Patriot Act provision of information sharing. The center maintains an updated database of appropriately suspected and known terrorists. The center looks upon various departments and agencies providing information about the identity of terrorists on a continuous basis. It receives must terrorism information from the FBI gathered in the process of criminal investigations and the shared provision of the Act (Dempsey & Forst, 2012).

Eradicating the wall between intelligence and criminal investigations has enabled the FBI to carry out intelligence analysis, as well as integrate the analysis into the Bureau. The intelligence programs implemented by the FBI have crossed all counterterrorism, investigative programs, counterintelligence, and cyber crime. The office of Director of intelligence has the capacity to leverage the opportunities of the culture of enforcing the law. This has been achieved through dedication to facts and source based analysis whilst ensuring the lack of walls between analysts, collectors and those acting on intelligence for the national good (Jordan & Jordan, 2009). According to the FBI director, prevention of future terror attacks is critical in enhancing the country's intelligence capabilities. This has the possibility of increasing important aspects of intelligence information about terrorists. The global terrorism aspect has created a great need for the FBI to combine its criminal operations and intelligence programs to curb future attacks (Smith & Hung, 2009).

While facing the current global terrorism threats, sharing of legally gathered information does not make any sense… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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