The Pros And Cons Of The Patriot Act

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When the act was passed, only one senator voted against it, claiming it was a violation of the Constitution’s basic civil liberties (“Patriot Act II”). Fourteen years after the act was passed, more Americans visualize the true intentions behind the Patriot Act, and the government took a different approach to national security as a result. Arguably the most controversial aspect of the Patriot Act was the government’s right to collect citizens’ personal records; the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) requested to collect 56,507 National Security Letters in 2004 alone (“FBI Requests for National Security Letters”). The extensiveness of the government's power to do so was revealed in 2013, twelve years after Congress passed the act, when Edward Snowden…show more content…
The data collected from these phone records was not primarily used to detect terroristic behavior but to find out who was leaking information out to reporters and when and where political opponents were having meetings. It is information like this “that governments have historically used to blackmail and control dissenters” (“Abolish the NSA”). The public was outraged upon hearing these revelations; they believe that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which states that the government is prohibited from unreasonable search and seizure, is violated (“Right of Privacy”). Citizens argue that the Patriot Act did not enhance their security; it heightened the power of the government and its involvement in the personal lives of citizens. Therefore, in June of 2015, the parts of the Patriot Act that granted the government power to collect phone records expired. Congress passed the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2015", or the U.S.A. Freedom Act (“Listen

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