THE PATRIOT ACT: protecting our nation at the expense of civil liberties United States of America is synonym with freedom and liberties. It is the country of free will, moral responsibility, freedom of religion, of speech notwithstanding the right to privacy. The Founding Fathers, when writing the constitution strove to make sure every citizen will live in a place where they could express themselves. The Bill of Rights provided a lot of liberties to the people. However it was perfect. USA in his young history experienced lots of movement towards more freedom and rights. The Civil Rights in the sixties, the suffragette movement to earn the right of vote in the forties, or else the Roe versus Wade court decision that gave the right to women to decide whether or not to keep a pregnancy. Throughout the years law were amended or enacted to grant citizen more and more liberties. The FISA act of 1978 is an example of the congress striving to protect citizens from the government invading their privacy without a warrant. Yes, USA is the first Democracy in the world, the first economic power, the country of human rights and freedom. Unfortunately, all of those qualities also make USA to be the target for terror. Till the end of 20th century, USA was pretty much a safe place to be despite his enemies. USA experience one major attack to his homeland on the December 7, 1941 with the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor. Besides that just few threat and other local terrorist attacks such as the Oklahoma bombing perpetrated by a US Army veteran (Timothy Mc Veigh), was recorded. Then came the 9/11 attacks on the world trade center and the Pentagon marking the advent of a new era in USA homeland protection policy. The rise of a national security state had some huge consequences on American citizen’s life. One of those consequences was the enactment on October 26, 2001 of The Patriot Act. After the Attacks of 9/11, the country was down, no one was feeling safe. What mattered the most was to recover that feeling of safety and more to fight against terrorism and keeping the America safe. The USA PATRIOT ACT is an acronym standing for Uniting Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. It involves all powers handed to the government to fight terrorism. A year after 9/11 when people had recovered from the immediate trauma, lots of voices rose to denounce a shameless act that goes against America’s foundations and values, and trample civil liberties. Fighting the Patriot Act raises two questions. Does the PATRIO ACT really infringe civil liberties? Can we protect our nation without trampling civil liberties? First of all we will examine the PATRIOT ACT titles and then the cons of the Act to see how it endangers the civil liberties.
The PATRIOT ACT is really a revolution because it repealed 16 previous famous acts. Some of them are FISA (1978), ECPA (1986), MLC, BSA and The Immigration act. IT makes sense because those previous acts covered area like immigration intelligence gathering, money circulation, communication privacy, just to name a few. The 2001 USA PATRIOT ACT contains 10 titles.
Title 1 basically reinforced all government agencies capabilities to prevent Terrorism. For instance, we can name the FBI Technical Support and Tactical Operation or else the National network of Electronics crimes task forces develop by the Secret Service. It also condemns all act of discrimination towards communities of Muslim and Arab background right after the attacks of 2001.
Title 2 handed the power to enhance surveillance techniques and procedures. This Title is probably the most controversial one because for the sake of national security, the government is allowed to use any type of surveillance technique even to the point of prying into citizen’s privacy. This title allows wiretapping of all form of communication means to include phone, e-mail, cable