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Key Components of the USA Patriot Act

1. What are the key components of the USA Patriot Act? Why does the Act generate concerns between liberty and security?

2. Define the role of the Department of Homeland Security. Why was it created? What is the primary role of DHS?

3. What is NATO? Why is it important?

4. The U.S. has never adopted clear policy guidelines for the use of military force. In your view, why has this decision been made?

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1. What are the key components of the USA Patriot Act? Why does the Act generate concerns between liberty and security?

Since the 9/11 attacks, society has become more vigilant in their methods that they approach terroristic threats at large. Whether the threat comes from a foreign organization or is home grown in the United States, law enforcement agencies have enacted anti-terrorism teams to combat terrorist threats. In saying this, federal law enforcement agencies have taken the lead in educating citizens and smaller law enforcement agencies (local and state) on possible threats and hazards associated with terrorist organizations.

One of the most controversial acts that protects against domestic terrorism is the U.S. Patriot Act. The purpose of this act is to strengthen U.S. measures to prevent, detect, and prosecute those who launder money or conduct actions that be seen as a threat to National Security. Components of the Patriot Act allow law enforcement to use surveillance techniques that includes computer, telephone, and other media outlets. Additionally, government agencies are able to conduct record searches, access personal records held by third parties, conduct trace searches, conduct secret searches, and intelligence gathering searches without a search warrant in some cases (ACLU, 2010). Overall, it increases the power of the government to conduct covert searches in the name of national defense.

In closing, the act is believed to violate the Fourth Amendment of citizens. Many political leaders feel this is an un-checked power because government agencies don't have to answer to anyone based on the secrecy of the surveillance. Organizations like the ACLU believe this is a direct violation of civil rights and serves as a form of entrapment. However, the government states this act is for the purpose of finding and tracking perspective terrorist organizations; foreign and domestic.


ACLU (2010). Surveillance Under the USA Patriot Act. Retrieved ...

Solution Summary

The key components of the United States Patriot Act. NATO is defined and why it is important.