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The Patriot Act was signed into law on October 26, 2001, by the United States President, at the time, George W. Bush. This was in response to the devastating tragedy of September 11th – increasing national security and amending existing laws. According to Lesson 1, “The intention behind passing [The Patriot Act] was to allow law enforcement greater leeway in matters of probable cause and search and seizure in terror-related cases…”. The Department of Justices’ website states that the Patriot Act improve counter terrorism efforts in four specific ways:
This, however, causes an uproar, as not all law enforcement abided by this code and took it as infringement on civil liberties – or, at least, that’s what people claim. The search and seizure provisions seem to be the only real problem though. Even courts have claimed that some parts of the law are too broad to be applied to certain situations. What’s interesting is that the Patriot Act was passed in order for law enforcement to have great leeway in terror-related situations, not everyday cases. So, are the people right to say that there has been a breach in civil liberties? We may never know. But, being educated is a great way to see both sides of each other’s situations and may be the key to solving this debate in the future.
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