Merits of the USA Patriot Act


The USA PATRIOT Act stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. Even though this act has been prone to exploitation by criminals, its merits are far much more than the drawbacks. Since the act is mainly focused on enforcing the law on terrorists, it helps bring information together regarding potential terror and criminal acts thus making it much easier for the law enforcement and intelligence personnel to connect through sharing information that would lead to disruption of terror activities. Information sharing also helps in border protection by screening visitors for safety purposes. The act also enables homeland security to carry out investigations on international money transfers to prevent money smuggling. The patriotic authorities have enabled the immigration and customs enforcement team to use strategized methods to investigate certain financial systems that criminal organizations may use to block their access (Doyle, 2002, p. 1). Additionally, the act gives law enforcement personnel the right to ask for personal properties and belongings such as phones in case one is a criminal suspect. We all know that terrorist is and has always been a great threat to the security of our people and having a law that offers deeper protection against them is such an enormous move towards security maintenance.

The complexity of the patriot act

The USA Patriot Act has yielded a lot of controversial arguments since it was enacted. The opponents have been arguing that the act is opportunistic because it was passed after the September attacks and there was not much debate on it thus the public was not well involved and felt left out. The law has also been criticized as being unconstitutional especially the rights of citizens to private communication which is violated when personal records are required t be given out to law enforcement in case one is suspected to be a terror criminal. However, there is also a contradicting argument that the wiretaps are of low standards that cannot be adequate for the enforcement to violate private communication rights. The act also has a provision that allows the production of materials on order to the FBI that may include books, documents, and other records. Proponents of this provision maintain that such materials are held by third parties and their use, therefore, does not reasonably violate personal privacy (Mathewson, 2009, p. 1). On the other hand, the librarians remain strongly objective about the provision arguing that access to library records would have a discouraging effect on free speech which should not be violated according to the constitutional laws.

The patriot act and the U.S. constitution

Although the patriot act expanded the authority to surveil and capture information through communication follow-ups, the laws associated with these enforcements do not necessarily violate the privacy rights of the constitution. According to the Supreme Court, the contents of the communication surveillance in the patriot act are within the constitutional laws. This is because the rights of the law enforcement personnel to obtain information are limited by the constitutional requirements. In this context, title III of the patriot act imposes strict limitations on the ability of the government to obtain private communication content (Honcho, 2005, p. 1). Thus, an agent of law enforcement can obtain communication content only when there is a court order issue which should be provided only when there are findings that are likely to link someone to one of the specified crimes or the communication facilities are suspected to be associated with the offense. To further protect the privacy rights of citizens, interception on communication content can only be exercised by designated officials, the interception can only be carried out for a specific period after which it will no longer be authorized and the interception is subject to legal restrictions such that any information obtained outside the wire statute cannot be used in judicial proceedings.

Bias on the war on terror

There has been a lot of bias on the terror war with many racial and religious groups being looked down upon as being unable to get prepared for terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, some of these groups are not aware of the possibilities of such attacks as well as how they could get prepared for them. One of the most important ways of addressing this bias is by educating such groups to help them understand the possibilities of threats and how they can be ready. Talking about such attacks collectively is also essential in bringing together all ethnic groups towards the single course of fighting terror (Kuypers, 2006, p. 1). This way, every group feels the need of the other group in the efforts to maintain security from a global perspective rather than a racial way. Consolidation of armed forces and other law enforcement personnel is equally significant since it emphasizes unity and togetherness which is a very essential tool in the fight against terror. Most importantly, having global talks by the law enforcers is the basis for all the above-mentioned strategies.

Reference List

Doyle, C. (2002). The USA Patriot Act: a sketch. Web.

Honcho, M. (2005). The benefits of the patriot act for law enforcement. Web.

Kuypers, J. (2006). Media bias and bush’s war on terror. Web.

Mathewson, J. (2009). The patriot act: advantages and disadvantages. Web.

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DemoEssays. "Merits of the USA Patriot Act." September 25, 2023.