The Patriot Act: An invasion of privacy?


Audry Jeong, Staff Writer

On September 11, 2001 at 8:46 a.m., four hijacked planes were flown and crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing thousands.

Every year we remember the strength and courage of those lost. However, rarely do we ever focus on the after effects of this tragedy and how they continue to impact our everyday lives.

9/11 was strategically coordinated by an Islamic terrorist group otherwise known as Al-Qaeda. In response to these attackers, former president George W. Bush issued the “USA PATRIOT Act,” or, in its entirety, “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.”

The law was, and is, intended to assist the government in the prevention and detection of any signs of terrorism or support of these groups within the United States.

Despite its intentions, however, since its release, the Patriot Act has received high controversial backlash. In fact, the Patriot Act has several issues, proving itself much more harmful than good for the state of our country.

The Patriot Act does not provide equal legal protection for the people of the U.S., which leaves citizens to ultimately wonder just how much our government is leaving us vulnerable to.

First, and quite frankly one of the biggest issues, is the idea of privacy. The nation has and continues to debate, “where do we draw that line?”

The Patriot Act allows government officials to track and identify individuals even when they are no longer living in the United States. This becomes an issue for those of us who still live under the “protection” of the United States government.  

As the comic Spiderman states, “With much power comes great responsibility.”

The government abusing their power is not old news, and the fact that the Patriot Act grants them so much power is unsettling to say the least. In the months following the 9/11 attacks, many citizens were detained in Guantanamo Bay without due process and interrogated without restraint.   

Instead of creating a safe and controlled environment, the Patriot Act has only stirred fear within Americans.  

The need to take action after the effects of 9/11 is understandable, however in order to prevent this sort of confusion, the government needs to provide a laid out plan for exactly what it is Americans are signing up for.

So, come 2019, we must decide whether “The Patriot Act” is beneficial as is or should be reformed. This is the chance for us to speak up and voice our opinion.

For a country that prides itself on its “independence” and establishment of this so-called “land of the free,” acts such as these just seem like a step backwards for America.

Thinkis the Patriot Act really a sure way of defense against acts of terrorism, or just an excuse for the government to invade privacy?