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SOCIAL: Patriot Act - Good policy?

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posted on Aug, 3 2004 @ 06:08 PM
Congress enacted the Patriot Act by overwhelming, bipartisan margins, arming law enforcement with new tools to detect and prevent terrorism: The USA Patriot Act was passed nearly unanimously by the Senate 98-1, and 35766 in the House, with the support of members from across the political spectrum. Source: ACLU


Were they right? You be the judge.

The Patriot Act gives the FBI unlimited power to spy on ordinary people, whether they be citizens or not, living here in the United States. Some of the pertinent points of Section 215:

The government does not need to show probable cause that you are engaged in criminal activity. Nor do they need to have a reasonable suspicion that you are acting in concert or as an agent of any foreign entity or power. Additionally, you can be investigated merely for exercising your constitutionally protected right under the first amendment, in other words for what you read.

For example, the FBI could spy on a person because they don't like the books she reads, or because they don't like the web sites she visits. They could spy on her because she wrote a letter to the editor that criticized government policy.

Another frightening aspect of the Act is that there is no record made of such surveillance. You will never know if the government is tracking what you read or what you surf on the web or what you say.

The Libertarian Party has taken a strong position against the Patriot Act and believes that it must be rescinded. From their website:

The rights of due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, personal privacy, the freedoms of assembly, expression and religion; and other individual liberties and rights must not be denied on the basis of national security. The Bill of Rights provides no exceptions for a time of war.

For the record Senator Kerry voted for the Patriot Act.
President Bush signed the Act into law.

Libertarian Faq on Patriot Act

[edit on 3-8-2004 by Bleys]

posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 06:01 PM
The patriot act is not right in my opioion. The goverment shoud not have these kinds of powers.

"Power corrupts, appsulte power corrupts appsultely."

The more power you have the more you are going to abuse it.

the courtes didnt even read it all. If I wanted a bill to pass I would fill it with about a thousand pages of stuff and put my agenda at the end hidden.

posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 06:20 PM
I agree the Patriot Act takes away way too much power from the people. Terrorism is such a broad definition in this Act as well. Not to mention, the abuses that have already taken place. FBI spying on protestors, church groups, library checkouts, purchases, and other financial affairs. The right to protest being suspended during the G8 summit due to a state of national emergency being called. This is a gross disrespect for the people of this country, in their eyes, no one is innocent. They fostered the ultimate paranoia on theirselves and on us due to this Act.

posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 06:25 PM
Ok I always new the Patriot Act was a bad idea. I don't like the concept of the FBI spying on me because I critizied Bush. This law has a huge potential to be used for politics and other corrupt reasons. I understand that sometimes the goverment may have reasons for investigation but search warrants were created for a reason.

posted on Aug, 5 2004 @ 04:01 PM
Wouldnt this new policy basically lead to the birth of a Big Brother type of socity. I can see how the act could be used for good since it would mean that potential terrorists could be caught before an incident was to be caused.

But then again, this act says that it allows the FBI to keep survalence on whoever without reason. Which evantually could lead to people being accused of such things to which they never have done, and being persucuted.

Verdict: Clever at this moment in time when terrorism is on high alert, but that is stopping it becoming abused by the government. And leading to political problems.

posted on Aug, 6 2004 @ 11:05 PM
There is no need for this to be allowed in this country. This is the WORST abuse of the Constitution since the the Alien and Sedition Acts of the late 1700's that tried to censor the original republican party from us newspapers to protect Federalist power. The government does not have the right to point a camera and a microphone wherever it wants.

As racos elluded to this very well could lead to a big brother society. And anyone who can rationalize that we need to give up some freedoms to stop the terrorists doesn't what being American is truly all about. I believe it was Thomas Jefferson who said that "those willing to relinquish their freedom for security deserve neither freedom or security." Well this statement holds true today. You can't fight for freedom by taking from those you're trying to protect it for. That means you've already lost the battle there is nothing left to fight for.

That is why I feel that the PATRIOT Act should be completely abolished.

p.s. - dont get me started on the G8 summit

posted on Aug, 6 2004 @ 11:29 PM
I think the Patriot Act is a good thing, it was implemented in an emergency situation and was passed with a time limit on it's use.

However, there was a recent introduction in congress to remove the timeline and basicly make it permanent, I highly disagree with this legislation.

If the deadline of the act is coming up, I would understand an extension of the deadline, but not to the removal of a deadline.
The legislation should extend it by another, short length of time as we are still in a war against terror, and the act assists in the war, but by eliminating the deadline makes this a permanent act which I do not find acceptable.

Do not allow your representatives to remove the deadline permanently.
The status of the bill from the senate is linked here:
They call the deadline "sunset"
A passage of this legislation would remove the sunset of the patriot act making it permanent.

I say, if the Patriot Act needs to be extended, extend it, but don't make it permanent.


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