The Patriot Act And The Fourth Amendment To The United States Constitution

716 Words 3 Pages
According to the United Nations, privacy is basic human right that should be protected by law. The United States Constitution also implies a right to privacy in the Fourth Amendment. Recent laws passed by the government have raised questions about whether the government’s actions infringe upon a citizen’s right to privacy. The USA Patriot Act was the first of many laws that increased the powers of government organizations such as the NSA and the FBI. The law allowed these agencies to access private records of US citizens without the need of a warrant or judge’s consent. This private information includes phone records, banking statements, and medical reports. Though the Supreme Court has supported the Patriot Act, the law still seems to conflict …show more content…
The Patriot Act violates the Fourth Amendment since it allows the government to obtain information about suspected terrorist without notifying a judge. The suspects have not been judged to be guilty and may be innocent, but this doesn’t stop agencies from collecting private data without the person’s approval. Warrants are used to specify the criteria of a search, such as where the agency will search or what they plan to find. However, the government no longer a warrants to obtain medical, internet, and phone records. Based on the Fourth Amendment, without warrants or the approval of a judge, these searches should be unconstitutional. Adding greater judicial oversight would help make sure that the searches do not infringe upon the constitution and that agencies are doing their jobs …show more content…
The Patriot Act violates this right by allowing the government to intercept the communications of innocent civilians. Under the Patriot Act, intercepting communication no longer requires a judge’s approval. Older wiretapping laws were bypassed through the Patriot Act and now provide the FBI with easy access to emails and voicemails. Phone records, voicemails, and emails are all important forms of communication that may contain sensitive information. When there is greater judicial oversight, there is greater review of available evidence and warrants can be used to specify what information will be collected by the agency. By bypassing judges, the agencies have the ability to gather unnecessary information that does not pertain to their investigations. When such irrelevant private information of individuals is viewed or seized, the government is infringing upon the privacy of

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