Patriot Act Questions
Does the USA Patriot Act balance liberty with security and is it a necessary law?The answer to this question would depend on if you are asking a Democrat or a Republican.
Many Democrats and Liberals would agree that the Patriot Act doesn't balance liberty with security and some of them will say that patriot Act is unnecessary. The reason for this belief is that they feel innocent people will be exposed to illegal wiretapping, that unconfirmed terrorist could be held against their will, and that US citizens could lose their citizenship when being suspected of aiding a terrorist group. Another argument is that there is no proof that these methods would reduce the chances of terrorism.
The Republicans and conservatives believe the patriot Act does balance liberty with security. Their argument is, without the patriot Act in place, terrorism would be a heavier threat to the US, and those citizens whose liberty is at stake in that position for a reason. Most people that carry this view believe that protecting the citizens of the United States is more important than the rights of a terrorist. They also believe that if the person is suspected of terrorism, their right to constitutional protection should be removed. Also, they argue that without the Patriot Act, the US would be more vulnerable to terrorist attack.
Is the patriot act contradictory to the constitution? If so, does that not make it null and void and therefore not a real law?A federal judge found that in order for investigators to order Internet providers to release records without telling the customers, the investigators must first have a court's approval.
The U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero states: the government orders must be subject to meaningful judicial review and that the recently rewritten Patriot Act “offends the fundamental constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers.”
The American Civil Liberties union has also challenged this law stating that the law allowed the FBI to demand records without the documentation that is normally required by other government searches. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also stated that the FBI improperly used NSLs (National Security Letter) as a tool to manipulate businesses to release customer records without an order from a judge or by a Grand Jury Subpoena.
While there are many people who disagree with the patriot Act, you will have to form your own opinion.
Does the Patriot Act allow a federal government employee access to passwords for internet accounts (i.e. email, Myspace, etc.) of family or friends of someone they are doing a background check on?The government is only allowed to access the accounts of the person who is being investigated. The only exception to this rule would be if the person being investigated communicates with another person who is also under investigation and the FG (federal government) is trying to cross reference the relationship between the two people who are being investigated. The Patriot Act with then only allow this activity if the government has legal documented proof.
The patriot Act brings about some strong arguments from those who agree with it and those who don't. While some people think it is a necessary evil to protect the US, others feel it is an infringement on their privacy. If you have questions about the Patriot Act, you should ask an Expert for legal insight and answers.