With the aftermath of the September 11 bombings, the United States government under the leadership of former president George W. Bush has reinitiated an effort to create stricter and wider application of policing. This then has prompted the creation of the US Patriot Act and far extended the capability of local authorities to exercise power with the overall intention to promote national security. Though this agenda tried to serve its purpose to citizens, it has also created a stir in its impact towards law enforcement and local citizens.
Seeing this, it is essential to understand the implications of such act to further determine avenues for change and development. Understanding the Law Looking at it from the perspective of local authorities, the US Patriot Act enables the expansion of coverage that includes checking, monitoring, apprehending and prosecuting individuals suspected to engage in terrorist activities (FinCen, 2001). This then spells out greater opportunity for tracking down suspected individuals who are threats to national security and stability.
Moreover, this practice also caters to the practice of money laundering which in turn allows officials to track down financial transactions and actively point out which one goes to a specific location (Page, 2003). Recognizing the Implications After seeing the scope and application of the US Patriot Act, it can then be deciphered that there are indeed implications and problems associated with such practice. The first one involves officials who practice enforcement.
Under this process, they have a greater scope of power and application that in turn generate positive outcomes as far as detection and apprehension is concerned and negative in terms of intrusion of privacy and efforts to undermine constitutional mandates (Smith et. al. , 2002). Likewise, this law hinders the capability of law enforcement officials to ascertain the basis of search, arrests, or other applications that may affect investigation (Prison Planet, 2003).
On the other hand, the most affected by this law are US citizens and immigrants who shall be exposed to such procedure. Looking at it, the practice of this law seeks to create greater racial segregation and prejudice especially among minorities (Logan, 2007). Operating on such idea, it can create greater insecurity among the citizenry and further hamper the models for tolerance (Smith, et. al, 2002). Lastly, privacy is also hampered as people can now become subject to search, interrogation and investigation either with/without their consent.
Conclusion In the end, the US Patriot Act can be considered beneficial in preventing and preserving national interests in the United States. It has allowed efforts for better policing and law enforcement. However, due to its failure to seek out and cater to several rights of citizens, this can in turn can be used by authorities to promote prejudice, discrimination, and alienation. Likewise, the failure to provide inadequate fairness and responsible implementation can hamper with US core values of freedom and equality.
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) (2001) USA Patriot Act. Retrieved March 29, 2009 from, http://www. fincen. gov/statutes_regs/patriot/index. html Logan, C. (2007) Liberty or Safety: Implications of the USA Patriot Act and the UK’s Anti-Terror Laws on Freedom of Expression and Free Exercise of Religion in Seton Hall Review. 37 no. 863 Retrieved March 29, 2009. 863-891 Page, V. (2001) The USA Patriot Act Violates Citizens’ Rights. Retrieved March 29, 2009 from, http://www.
cptexas. org/articles/vp040103. shtml Prison Planet (2001) The Patriot Act: Targeting American Citizens. Retrieved March 29, 2009 from, http://www. prisonplanet. com/articles/october2004/091004patriotact. htm Smith, M. S. , Seifert, J. W. , McLoughlin, G. J. , and Moteff, J. D. (2002) The Internet and the USA Patriot Act: Potential Implications for Electronic Privacy, Security, Commerce, and Government in CRS Report for Congress. Retrieved March 29, 2009 1-18