Desperate Times Breed Danger

By Austin Durkin

After the 9/11 terrorist attack, President George W. Bush and the US Congress created and signed an act called the USA PATRIOT Act. USA PATRIOT stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. Jim Sensenbrenner introduced the act on October 21, 2001. This act was in effect and signed by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. That was one of the shortest legislative processes in America, especially considering that it has taken years for some things.The List of Titles of the USA PATRIOT Act:Title I: Enhancing domestic security against terrorismTitle II: Surveillance proceduresTitle III: Anti-money-laundering to prevent terrorismTitle IV: Border securityTitle V: Removing obstacles to investigating terrorismTitle VI: Victims and families of victims of terrorismTitle VII: Increased information sharing for critical infrastructure protectionTitle VIII: Terrorism criminal lawTitle IX: Improved intelligenceTitle X: Miscellaneous   The most controversial title would have to be Title II. Wiki states here “Title II is titled 'Enhanced Surveillance Procedures', and covers all aspects of the surveillance of suspected terrorists, those suspected of engaging in computer fraud or abuse, and agents of a foreign power who are engaged in clandestine activities. It primarily made amendments to FISA, and the ECPA, and many of the most controversial aspects of the USA PATRIOT Act reside in this title. In particular, the title allows government agencies to gather ‘foreign intelligence information’ from both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens, and changed FISA to make gaining foreign intelligence information the significant purpose of FISA-based surveillance, where previously it had been the primary purpose.” (Wiki). This title basically lets officials look at your personal information if you are even suspected to be a threat. “Title II established three very controversial provisions: ‘sneak and peek’ warrants, roving wiretaps and the ability of the FBI to gain access to documents that reveal the patterns of U.S. citizens.” (Wiki).   The USA PATRIOT Act is the proper reason that the Transportation Security Association and Homeland Security were created. It also was the spark for the National Security Agency (NSA) to have more power. All of these government associations are now regarded as social enemies, even though at one point they were the only internal government helping to stop terrorism. There were some desperate mistakes made when America was at its lowest. Now, most of the bad or controversial pieces of this act have either been renewed (basically removing it) or they've been altered to make American citizens happier.

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