USA Patriot Act Essay

Pages: 3 (890 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Terrorism

USA Patriot Act

The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (also known as USA PATRIOT ACT), is a Congressional Bill passed into law by president George W. Bush as a reaction to the September 11 bombings and other acts of terrorism against New York City and the Pentagon. It purportedly enhances the powers of domestic law enforcement agencies in searching phone, internet, medical, financial, credit records of U.S. citizens (and visitors), it allows foreign intelligence investigations within the U.S.A., it increases the powers of the Treasury in regulating financial transactions of foreigners, widens the discretion of authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants, and enhances definition of terrorism to further include domestic terrorism. It has created changes in U.S. Laws such as in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, Money Laundering Act of 1986, Bank Secrecy Act and Immigration and Nationality Act. It is very controversial in nature and has had various proposals for amendments (none of which have been passed to date). The bill itself is said to have been passed into law in a "rushed" manner.

Like any law it has its share of advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages such as misuse and abuse of its provisions, far outweigh advantages. Advantages easily identified are:

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1) Increased funding for counter-terrorist activities and funding for FBI Technical Support Center. The Patriot Act creates a fund for counter-terrorism as well as provides increased funding for the FBI as the main law enforcement agency that caters to acts of terrorism, thus enhancing national security.

TOPIC: Essay on USA Patriot Act Assignment

2) S-214 Bill. This bill was created as an off shoot or effect of the Patriot Act. Suspicions and fears that background investigatory powers would be misused to choose and/or dismiss judges according to their political leanings regarding Republican issues resulted in the creation of a Preserving U.S. Attorney-General Independence Act of 1997 bill. T his protects the integrity, independence and term security of U.S. Attorney Generals.

3) Money Laundering. Definitions of money laundering is better delineated, cases related to it is better monitored, investigated, and prevented using electronic surveillance and additional provisions. Such provisions allow cases to be intercepted and prosecuted in places where the money laundering started from.

Disadvantages far outweigh the advantages, which includes:

Abuse of enhanced powers. Law enforcement agencies use the increased powers of investigation for "sneak and peak" investigations which allows delayed notification of search warrants; they use in to access private individuals' financial, credit, employment and health records. This is a clear violation of the citizens' rights to privacy.

Patriot Act against the Homeless. There has been a case where… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "USA Patriot Act" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

USA Patriot Act.  (2008, November 2).  Retrieved November 30, 2021, from

MLA Format

"USA Patriot Act."  2 November 2008.  Web.  30 November 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"USA Patriot Act."  November 2, 2008.  Accessed November 30, 2021.