Civil Liberties

About 6 weeks after the terrorist attacks in September 11 attacks, he American Congress in haste and panic enacted the USA Patriot Act (Brasch, 3). This was a revision of the surveillance laws in the United States and worked in expanding the authority of the United States government in a way that it can now be able to spy on American citizens. The law also reduced the checks and balances that other organ such as the judiciary, the public and also one’s ability to make a challenge to a search by the government. The act was meant to be an invaluable tool for fighting corruption, but it is controversial as it can lead violation of civil liberties guaranteed by the American constitution.

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Section 215 of the USA Patriotic Act is a very controversial section; it gives powers to the FBI. The FBI using this section can tap and monitor all that American citizens are doing either on their phones, internet and also in the public libraries. This they can do without regard to the standard that are set out clearly for warrants by the Fourth Amendment of the American constitution. As per section of the act, the threshold set for the government to do this is very low, all the government needs is some level of relevancy so as their monitoring acts can be justified (Ball, 18).

The act also violates the First Amendment, this is because it has a gag order, which makes it criminal for there to be any discussion of the searches done by the FBI, and this is done using a threat of possible prosecution (Cassel, 28). The USA Patriotic Act clearly steps on the civil rights of the American people. The act was made with huge secrecy and exploiting on the mood of the people then the act can be used to victimize and intrude on the privacy of American people.

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