Is The Patriot Act Still In Effect 2016 – Protesters hold signs outside Federal Hall during a rally against US Attorney General John Ashcroft on September 9, 2003 in New York City. In New York City, as part of a sixteen-city tour, the attorney general spoke about the progress the United States has made in the war on terrorism through the enactment and implementation of the USA Patriot Act. Spencer Platt/Getty Images File
During the aftermath of 9/11, a shocked and grieving nation demanded answers and justice. Lawmakers have vowed to pass both Patriot Acts.
Is The Patriot Act Still In Effect 2016
Fifteen years later, the law dramatically expanded the government’s surveillance capabilities, broadened the definition of terrorism and sought to strengthen border security. This led to wiretapping and the much-criticized collection and storage of American citizens’ cellphone and Internet metadata while demanding that telecommunications companies hand over that data.
Congress Just Temporarily Extended The Government’s Spying Powers
Subsequent revelations about the American Act and government surveillance helped the GOP-dominated Congress narrow the scope. The law finally facilitated a public debate about the conflict between the government’s desire to protect citizens and citizens’ civil liberties.
“I think the PATRIOT Act went beyond technical updates, it was passed in the heat of the moment and it went too far,” said Peter Swire, a professor of law and ethics at the Georgia Institute of Technology who has served under President Obama. The Intelligence and Communications Technology Review Panel was formed after whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the government’s domestic surveillance programs.
Less than a month after the deadly attacks of September 11, 2001, the country is in mourning.
Lawmakers have also passed legislation that they believe will help prevent something like this from happening on American soil.
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Nathan Sales left as the new Justice Department employee to work in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy and the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2001. He encourages the sharing of information between the law enforcement and intelligence agencies in an effort to prevent future incidents was difficult. Attacks
“There were laws that made it harder to prosecute terrorists than Tony Soprano,” Sale told NBC News. “The right hand must know what the left hand is doing, guards and spies, everyone must speak.”
Sayles, now a professor at Syracuse University Law School, said the law did just that, giving the intelligence community the same intelligence-gathering tools used by law enforcement: wiretapping. .
But while Sales, his co-authors and sponsors of the measure praised the legislation, Sen. The Rep. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, was confused.
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“My goal is to fight terrorism and uphold the Constitution and keep Americans safe,” Feingold told NBC News. “I know the PATRIOT Act was hastily written to violate the privacy and civil rights of the citizens it was supposed to protect, instead of prioritizing the threats of global terrorism. Years of facts bear this out.”
Forty-five days after the September 11 attacks, and after little debate on the Senate floor, Congress passed the Patriot Act. The Anti-Terrorism Act would eventually become one of the most debated pieces of legislation in the country.
The law has evolved over the years since the Patriot Act and its successors authorized the government to conduct extensive surveillance and intelligence gathering to combat terrorism on American soil.
“The law basically gave the government the ability to get a lot of information and lowered the standard for them to get it,” said Neema Singh Guliani, a legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.
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Public outrage and debate over privacy erupted in 2013 when Snowden, a former CIA employee and government contractor, leaked information about National Security Agency surveillance, revealing the broad scope of government data collection.
Snowden’s revelations include the NSA’s major collections of cellphone and Internet metadata from American users and private communications of foreign leaders, including American allies — all permitted under the Patriot Act.
News of the NSA’s domestic surveillance has changed the online behavior of many Americans. According to a 2015 Pew Research study, twenty-five percent said they have “somewhat changed the way they use technology since the Snowden revelations.”
A man protests the Patriot Act during an anarchist demonstration on the last day of the Democratic National Convention in Copley Plaza, Boston, July 29, 2004. Michael Springer/Getty Images File
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Section 215 of the Act has become its most controversial aspect, sparking outrage and opposition among civil rights advocates due to the nature of the Act’s intent. Section 215 authorized the NSA’s massive collection of phone metadata, including who called whom and when, but also what was said during the conversation.
Article 215 allows the government to collect “tangible material” including “books, papers, documents, documents and other materials” in any matter related to terrorism.
“It has become very easy for the government to collect information with little transparency, which is a perfect storm for government abuse,” said Singh Guliani. “The law is explained in great detail.”
Aggregate amounts of metadata, such as phone records and Internet search history, are included as relevant information under a broad interpretation of the statute.
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“There should be privacy and sanctity in our homes and our documents, and individuals should be able to live without feeling like the government is spying on them,” Singh Guliani said.
While questions about privacy and civil rights are perfectly legitimate and necessary, Sale said the “concerns are misplaced.” For example, the government must prove to a judge that a court order is necessary to proceed with a criminal case.
“The cost and impact are low. The NSA doesn’t care about emailing your kids’ school teacher,” he said. “The benefit of the law is that it gives the government an anti-terrorism capacity that it lacks. It’s easier for the police, spies and soldiers to find the bad guys.”
In recent years, Congress has moved to reevaluate and improve the law with bipartisan changes that have helped restore the law’s reach, Swire said.
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“A key change was the USA Freedom Act of 2015. The Republican Congress and President Obama agreed to make significant improvements in privacy protections that parallel the recommendations of our review panel,” said Swire. “Congress also closed the Section 215 database (the cellphone metadata database) and the USA Freedom Act, helping to set new limits on the total collection of communications data.”
Ultimately, one of the clearest impacts of the Patriot Act was a heightened awareness of civil rights and the need to balance government checks, Swire said.
“Since the birth of the Republic, we have been torn between our civil liberties and the strong powers of government. These cycles continue. Look at World War II – we were willing to include Japanese-Americans because we believed it was our security. The Civil Rights Act of 2015 helped strengthen our perception of a strong government,” Swire said. “It’s a sign that the emergency of 2001 is over, and we can have a different national conversation about what that means for us as a country. After all, we didn’t eliminate the NSA and the FBI, but we built stronger safeguards against government surveillance.”
Halima Abdullah is a digital editor and writer for NBC News, and . Before joining the site in April 2015, Abdullah worked at CNN.com, where he reported, edited and produced news on federal politics and politics for the web. In that role, Abdullah helped span Congress, the White House, federal agencies and national political races.
City & State Pa
A former political and political journalist and editor, Abdullah has worked for Bloomberg Government, the Washington Bureau of McClatchy Newspapers, the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Newsday and the Dallas Morning News. His work has appeared in the New York Times and TODAY.com, among other publications. His journalism and creative writing have won awards, he has been published in several anthologies, and he has earned invitations to participate in several writing colonies. Abdullah is also a writing professor who has taught at the University of Maryland, the University of the District of Columbia, John Jay College in New York and Brooklyn College. After 20 years, it’s time to repeal the Patriot Act and end surveillance. After 9/11, Congress gave the government unlimited power to spy on its own people. It turned out to be a disaster
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