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The USA PATRIOT Act: the Signal for a Lasting New World - Research Paper Example

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The paper describes Section 802 of the Act that creates a new federal crime of “domestic terrorism,” which includes any dangerous acts that “appear to be intended to influence the policy of a government.” This could be used to silence any political dissent critical of government policies…
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The USA PATRIOT Act: the Signal for a Lasting New World
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Download file to see previous pages The Act severely curtails the right to privacy at several turns, including broadening the grounds for increased surveillance and wiretap authority, sneak-and-peek searches, tracking Internet usage and accessing private records. As a powerful tool in fighting terrorism, the law enforcement community used this Bill as a way of expanding their powers far beyond the war against terrorism. One example is “sneak and peek provision,” which allows the government to conduct secret searches of anyone, including citizens, without notifying the person that they have a search warrant and that the search is authorized. The provision allows the government to delay notification for a reasonable period of time upon showing the court that notifying the individual would jeopardize the criminal investigation, a very broad standard that probably could be met in a tremendous number of cases and is not limited to fighting terrorism in any way, shape or form. Section 215 of the Act reduces the traditional Fourth Amendment requirements for probable cause, as previously interpreted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (“FISA”) which was initially enacted in 1978 and was itself substantially amended by the USA PATRIOT Act. In its current form, FISA governs the efforts of the government to secure judicial approval for wiretaps and physical searches seeking foreign intelligence information. FISA requires the Chief Justice of the United States to designate eleven judges “to hear applications for and grant orders approving electronic surveillance” and “physical searches for the purpose of obtaining foreign intelligence information anywhere within the United States”. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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