After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers in 2001, the concern for public safety was kicked into high gear. The USA Patriot Act, which stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism, was signed into effect by president George W. Bush 43 days after the attack. It gave new ways to monitor terrorist activity in the country. The surveillance techniques, however, also transfer into the everyday person’s personal life. Is this break of privacy worth it?
Pros of the Patriot Act
Checks and Balances At Work
The act is separated into numerous different titles, which fall under the jurisdiction of different branches of government. This ensures that there is balance in the power that the Patriot acts allows.
Support For Victims
Along with surveillance, the Patriot Act also issues new funding for families of victims of terrorist attacks. This is an incredibly special part of the act because it helps people to recover from all of heartache and damage that these terrorists cause.
Since it’s signing, the Patriot Act has resulted in nearly 400 conviction of terrorist related crimes. There is no way to tell just how many lives have been saved due to this act.
The techniques specified in the Patriot Act give law enforcement the tools that they need in order to protect against and prevent devastating acts of terrorism that could take the lives of innocent citizens.
Cons of the Patriot Act
Breach Of Privacy
This act allows the government to tap into phones, gather personal records, and many other privacy infringing things. Many Americans view this as a violation of their constitutional rights.
While the Patriot Act was put into place to stop terrorism, it has had a nasty after math. People suspected of terrorist activity have no civil rights. They are put in prison and held without due process, regardless if they are innocent or not.
No Longer Anonymous
Any online or phone interactions that are made can be traced to precisely who you are. The government has gained access to information about IP addresses, GPS devices, and many other ways to track people down.