Essay on Compare and Contrast the Sedition Act and the Patriot Act

749 Words Dec 11th, 2005 3 Pages
Benjamin Franklin once said, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." The American people have always fought to retain their right of free speech; but one must ask what are we sacrificing with this protection?
The time period during the creation of the Sedition Acts was a time of suspicion and fear in the United States. The government enacted laws to ensure the safety of the President and Congress because they feared the people would lose trust in the government if they read things that were distasteful. Under the Sedition Act anyone who opposed or was against United States law or against the President could be imprisoned up to two years. It was also illegal to
…show more content…
There is no assumed privacy when communicating online and the government now has ways to keep tabs on certain people.
Freedom of Expression is stifled with many statutes under the Patriot Act because the act allows for broad terms under "domestic terrorism." The definition of "domestic terrorism" is so broad that it could include wire taping, surveillance, and anything they seen as anti American. Prior Restraint was a topic that was brought to the Supreme Courts attention because the government was trying to silence the press. The case that re defined Prior Restraint was Near v. Minnesota; this set a president and made it no longer acceptable to stop the publication of something that was deemed offensive. This legendary case coincides with the Patriot Act because since the definition is so broadly defined as "domestic terrorism" it acts a scare tactic and prevents people from publishing material that might be anti American.
Both the Sedition Act and the Patriot Act were created to protect the citizens of the United States. The question that arises is what is the cost of this so- called protection? Are American citizens willing to sacrifice their ability to express themselves without fear of repercussion in order to

Related Documents