The also gives investigators the legal right
The “Patriot Act”In the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Congress sprang into action. Within a month, U.
S. lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the USA Patriot Act of 2001, giving law enforcement and intelligence agent’s broader authority to fight terrorists operating in the United States. Signed into law by the President on October 26, the Patriot Act is designed to fight terrorism on several fronts.
First, it gives the U.S. government authority to hold foreigners suspected of terrorist activity for up to seven days before charging them with a crime. The legislation also gives investigators the legal right to tap any phone a suspected terrorist might use. The Act also gives complete access to financial records, medical records, and even library records. In addition to tracking cellular-telephone communication, agents can now subpoena Internet providers to surrender records of e-mails that they judge suspicious. This component of the law was significant, given that the men who hijacked the four planes on September 11 had communicated extensively about their plans via the Internet.
The Patriot Act also sanctioned funds to triple the number of border-patrol agents and Immigration and Naturalization Service inspectors along the northern border. Some of the major areas of contention are as follows Conducting “sneak and peek” searches, which allow law enforcement to enter people’s homes and search their belongings without informing them until long after. Directing a library, bookstore or newspaper to produce “tangible things,” e.g. the titles of books an individual has purchased or borrowed or the identity of individuals who have purchased or borrowed certain books.
The Patriot Act authorizes the use of devices to trace the telephone calls or e-mails of people who are not suspected of any crime. American citizens and permanent legal residents’ investigated and sought information on the basis of activities protected by the First Amendment. The Patriot Act allows investigators to use the tools that were already available to investigate organized crime and drug trafficking. Many of the tools the Act provides to law enforcement to fight terrorism have been used for decades to fight organized crime and drug dealers, and have been reviewed and approved by the courts. This Act allows law enforcement to use surveillance against more crimes of terror. Before the Patriot Act, courts could permit law enforcement to conduct electronic surveillance to investigate many ordinary, non-terrorism crimes, such as drug crimes, mail fraud, and passport fraud.
Agents also could obtain wiretaps to investigate some, but not all, of the crimes that terrorists often commit. The Act enabled investigators to gather information when looking into the full range of terrorism-related crimes, including: chemical-weapons offenses, the use of weapons of mass destruction, killing Americans abroad, and terrorism financing.With the Patriot Act in affect federal agents can follow sophisticated terrorists trained to evade detection. For years, law enforcement has been able to use “roving wiretaps” to investigate ordinary crimes, including drug offenses and racketeering. A roving wiretap can be authorized by a federal judge to apply to a particular suspect, rather than a particular phone or communications device. Because international terrorists are sophisticated and trained to thwart surveillance by rapidly changing locations and communication devices such as cell phones, the Act authorized agents to seek court permission to use the same techniques in national security investigations to track terrorists.
The argument by most people is that if you’re not doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about. I personally am not comfortable with the government violating the Bill of Rights that I am protected under. We no longer have a reasonable right to privacy in our own homes. Police officers haven’t been known for their ability to unbiased enforcement of the law.
Who’s to say an officer is always looking for a terrorist when they throw the whole deal about them having the right to conduct a search under the Patriot Act.