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Is the Patriot Act Shockingly Unpatriotic? As the World Trade Center fell citizens of America were scared and horrified. Twenty-five days later, still reeling with shock, Americans and people around the world received another blow; the U.S. Patriot Act was established…
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Download file to see previous pages However, this act has done more harm to the lives of American citizens than good. There is no doubt that the U.S. Patriot Act intrudes upon the privacy of Americans, promotes censorship, initiates racial profiling, and lastly takes the issue of national security too far. First, the U.S. Patriot Act is unconstitutional because it intrudes upon the privacy of American citizens by violating their First and Fourth Amendment rights. The nature of the U.S. Patriot Act is an issue that still remains a mystery as Congress quickly passed the bill without much debate (Cornhels 1). The bill itself contains four hundred laws and expands the definition of “terrorism” drastically (Cassell 13). The First Amendment rights of freedom of speech along with freedom to assemble are rights that most Americans hold dear to their lives, but now actions such as civil disobedience, and protests, are now being defined as domestic terrorism under this legislation (Cornhels 2). A sixty-two year old elderly man found his rights to be jeopardized as he was arrested based on his beliefs about the bombings in Afghanistan (Cassell 6). Under the Patriot Act, a clause known as Section 215 terrorizes Americans because it breaks the 4th and 5th Amendment, which ensures the privacy of individuals (“Reform the Patriot Act” 2). ...
It was clear that these initiatives were an “all-out attack” against the American public itself. Peter Swire, a professor at Ohio University, reports that FBI officials are putting pressure on telecommunication companies to turn over records (Chang 49). Already concerns have been raised by the public whether sharing the information with federal agencies and local police is legal (Cassell 26). As Jim Edwards puts it, “The Patriot Act is already having a chilling effect, even in the areas where it does not apply” (Edwards 1). This law, however, does not affect US citizens only; in fact, the Canadian government has also passed legislation to “protect” its citizens. In Canada, a law has been created that prevents any public institution to store any private information in the U.S. (“Reform the Patriot Act” 1). Even Universities in Canada are striving to protect their students’ private information from USA (“Reform the Patriot Act” 2). Nova Scotia and B.C. legislations have set strict guidelines on public institutions when it comes to sharing information with companies outside the USA (“Reform the Patriot Act” 1).Therefore, the U.S. Patriot Act is unconstitutional because it violates the constitutional given rights of Americans. Secondly, the Patriot Act is unconstitutional because it promotes censorship. Section 215 in the U.S. Patriot Act is a fatal blow on libraries because it allows government to see records of a person’s checkout list (Smith 96). What is even worse is that the individual has no clue whether Section 215 has been used on him since the libraries can not disclose any information (Smith 98). A survey conducted in December 2001 by University of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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