In response to September 11, congress passed the USA Patriot Act which, by creating new laws, increased the goverments’ power of surveillance, in the hope to aid in the prevention of future terrorist attacks. The ACLU believes that the USA Patriot Act challenges the law when it come to the protection of privacy for Americans, however, the USA Patriot Act instead, ensures the safety of the American people; and although it was one of the quickest pieces of legislation to be passed, it was an effort to counter terrorism.
Something needed to be done quickly and immediately to, once again, secure our nations safety. In “Surveillance under the USA Patriot Act”, the ACLU states, “Neither discussion nor amendments were permitted, and once again members barely had time to read the thick bill before they were foreced to cast an up or down vote on it. ” The ACLU gives us the impression that the act was passed too quickly, and that there wasn’t enough time to sit and deliberate the contents of the bill.
America was susceptible to attack at any time, especially with the goverments’ lack of knowlege in the prior acts of terrorism. According to “The USA PATRIOT Act: Preserving Life and Liberty”, “Congress enacted the Patriot Act by over whelming, bipartisan margins, [… ] by the senate 98-1, and 357-66 in the house, with the support of members from across the political spectrum. ” Further attacks needed to be prevented, so congress responded. This was the first step in the fight against terrorism.
The USA Patriot Act enhanced the authority in goverment surveillance powers, something they’ve already possessed, but furthermore allowed them to track communications and gather information for law enforcement purposes through reason of suspicion, and without notice or consent. The ACLU in “Surveillance under the USA PATRIOT Act” points out that “The FBI does not even have to sgow a reasonable suspicion that the records are related to criminal activity, much less the requirement for “probable cause” that is listed in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.
[…. ] the subjects of surveillance never even find out that their personal records have been examined by the goverment. ” The ACLU feels as if certain rights are violated because the secrecy of an individials information can be viewed, and more drastically, without consent. The attack was carried out in American territory itself, and was intended against Americans, therefore threatening our domestic safety.
Giving up some civil liberties for the moral purposed of protection for the American people is a small price to pay, especially when certain acts of terror are apprehended on U. S. territory. The fact is that the USA Patriot Act is intended as a tool to resist certain acts of terrorism both nationally, and domestically. The USA Patriot Act creates many ways for the government to observe suspicious activities of our world. Without this effective tool, the prevention of future terrorist attacks may not be successful.
Congress did what was possible and constitutional to once again beoaden the security of a nation that’s been tested. The ACLU opinions’ about the USA Patriot Act exclude the effort in preventing terrorism, and rather, focuses on the violations of civil liberties. It’s the duty of Americans to understand and tolerate the laws in which this bill presents. The increased surveillance is securing our safety in America and more importantly, preventing a similar act of terrorism like that of September 11th.