Usa Patriot Act Essay

1653 words - 7 pages


Technology has affected the field of justice studies in many ways. After the events of September 11th 2001, technology has had an even greater impact on the field of justice studies. Rapidly advancing technology has made surveillance cheaper and easier to conceal. Tools such as wiretapping, surveillance for e-mails, and other forms of surveillance tools that were before a violation of peoples' right to privacy, are now allowed to be used without probable cause. These tools now allow the FBI to find terrorists before they commit their act of violence. These surveillance tools that are now allowed to be used by the FBI were passed under the USA Patriot Act. Given that the USA Patriot Act now allows the FBI to look through what many people may consider private, many questions may arise. For instance, what does the FBI have rights to monitor? Who does it affect? What are the ethical concerns? And why is this favorable for the United States?
First, many people may be concerned with what the FBI has rights to monitor. The FBI has rights to monitor many things that may surprise many people. On October 26, 2001, President Bush signed the USA Patriot Act (USAPA) into law. The USA Patriot Act allows the FBI to monitor e-mail, medical records, and library accounts. The FBI may now access what may be to most people, personal information. They can legally wiretap phones, break into homes and offices, and access financial records without probable cause. This allows them to waste no time in finding terrorists. There is no doubt that this Act creates strict laws for foreigners. According to Stefanie Olsen, a staff writer for CNET, during President Bush's speech on the USA Patriot Act to the nation's mayors on how the law would target those who are suspected of being terrorists, he stated "If you overstay your visas even by one day, we will arrest you. If you violate a local law--we will hope that you will, and work to make sure that you are put in jail and be kept in custody as long as possible." According to Anne Kandra, whether a person is in favor or against the USA Patriot Act, it is important to know how this Act will affect our life online. The act allows investigators to use more powerful tools to monitor phone calls, e-mail messages, and web surfing. People now have less guarantee of privacy on the Internet. The federal investigators will now look through everyone's e-mail, text chat, or search inquiry. The surveillance will focus on people who authorities have a solid basis of suspicion. They will have to establish probable that a targeted person has been involved in a crime. The judges will then approve all reasonable requests related to criminal investigations. This Act also allows federal investigators to wiretap suspect's phones. Before, federal investigators had to have probable cause and had to specify specific lines to monitor. Now, they are able to wiretap without probable cause. They can monitor everything on a...

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