The response must be 250 words and use at least 2 scholarly citation(s) in APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Acceptable sources include texts, articles, presentations, the Bible, blogs, videos, etc.
Textbook: Taylor, R. W., & Swanson, C. R. (2019). Terrorism, intelligence, and homeland security (2nd ed.). Boston: Pearson. ISBN: 9780134818146.
The Advent of the U.S.A. Patriot Act
According to Taylor and Swanson (2019), to strengthen federal agencies’ intelligence collecting following 9/11 and to grant broad new capabilities to both domestic law enforcement and established intelligence services; the United States of America Patriot Act was a piece of legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. Also, Rajah (2019) adds that the Patriot Act’s purpose statement demonstrates the Act’s fusion of national and global concerns to deter and punish terrorist crimes domestically and internationally. Additionally, The Patriot Act, enacted only six weeks after the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, expresses the government’s desire to safeguard order through legislation, a philosophy that enables the executive to respond decisively and unhindered to perceived terrorist threats (Tauber & Christopher Banks, 2017). Taylor & Swanson (2019) argue that the USA PATRIOT ACT, which stands for (Provide Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism), amended 15 separate legislation with little or no external examination. For instance, some members of Congress admitted to not having read the legislation entirely.
Moreover, the Act’s most significant provision is that it severely lowered the checks and balances on traditional surveillance methods used by law enforcement and intelligence organizations (Taylor & Swanson, 2019) For instance, the standards for record searches, wiretaps, search warrants, pen/trap, and trace orders, as well as court orders and subpoenas, have been relaxed. Additionally, Taylor and Swanson (2019) argue that law enforcement and intelligence services could monitor online browsing and communication technologies more quickly and covertly, such as the internet, roving wiretaps on cell and landline telephones, and profile visitors to public libraries based on their reading patterns. According to Taylor and Swanson (2019), without a warrant or court order, police or government officials might compel internet service providers (ISPs) to send over information on client profiles under the Act voluntarily.
The Evolution of the U.S.A. Patriot Act
After the original Patriot Act, the reauthorized Patriot Act of 2006, the Reauthorized Patriot Act of 2011, and the Freedom Act of 2015 preserved provisions for roaming wiretaps with increased monitoring to prevent abuse (Taylor & Swanson, 2019). Additionally, Taylor and Swanson (2019) add that the amendments included judicial review and approval by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or National Security Agency (NSA), as well as a more extensive application process for specifying targets and actions. Also, the Act barred the subpoena of library records and imposed restrictions on sneak and peek searches (Taylor & Swanson, 2019). In addition, the definition of terrorism was enlarged, as was the capability to undertake surveillance on “lone wolf” attackers (Taylor & Swanson, 2019, p.271). Taylor and Swanson (2019) mention that the 2011 Reauthorized Patriot Act reinstated roving wiretaps, addressed electronic monitoring, and expanded access to court-ordered production of any tangible item, including company data and intelligence investigations. Finally, the Freedom Act of 2015 addressed three Patriot Act provisions that were about to expire.
The Constitutionality of the U.S.A. Patriot Act
Taylor and Swanson (2019) contend that while intelligence gathering and analysis needed to improve in the aftermath of 9/11, some believe the Patriot Act went too far. The American Civil Liberties Union is one group saying that the Patriot Act has gone too far (ACLU). The ACLU is a nationwide organization comprised primarily of lawyers dedicated to defending and preserving the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the United States Constitution (Taylor & Swanson, 2019). Taylor and Swanson (2019) argue that the ACLU is frequently pitted against the federal government in constitutional cases involving arrest, search, and seizure, as well as individual imprisonment.
Concerns with the Legislation
According to Taylor and Swanson (2019), concerns with the Patriot Act involve the Constitution’s First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. The ACLU claims that the Act has a stifling impact on freedom of speech, and several of its provisions have aroused controversy in that area (Taylor & Swanson, 2019). However, courts have sided with the administration. The Fourth Amendment guarantees the right to knock and announce under its protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Taylor and Swanson (2019) argue that the Patriot Act was controversial since it allowed law enforcement personnel to sidestep this provision when conducting searches. In one example, the federal government was sued and settled for a violation of the provision.
Regarding the Fifth Amendment, the Patriot Act gives the Attorney General the authority to arrest and jail any foreigner or foreign person classified as a suspected terrorist for up to seven days without charge (Taylor & Swanson, 2019). Despite its hostility to the Fifth Amendment, this clause has not been challenged before the Supreme Court. Taylor and Swanson (2019) add that the Sixth Amendment guarantees a timely and public trial by an impartial jury of the state and district where the crime was committed. Accusers must be told of the nature and reason of the charge, confronted by witnesses against them, and have witnesses and counsel for them (Taylor & Swanson, 2019). However, Taylor and Swanson (2019) argue that the provision of extraordinary rendition, the arrest, detention, and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one jurisdiction to another outside the confines and jurisdiction of the United States, is in opposition to the Sixth Amendment. The Supreme Court has not heard the case, and several lower appellate courts have ruled that former prisoners of the program cannot sue for alleged torture in overseas prisons because such a suit would reveal classified information (Taylor & Swanson, 2019).