The main objective of the USA PATRIOT Act was to prevent and punish terrorist undertakings in the United States as well as around the world. It is also aimed at enhancing law enforcement tools among other purposes. This law is a modification of several already existing laws, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Money Laundering Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Bank Secrecy Act, the Family Education Rights, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and the Privacy Act among others (McCarthy, 2002).
A significant portion of the USA Patriot Act is aimed at preventing acts of terrorist violence from being executed against the people United States in the future. A good example of the act’s preventative measures includes making intelligence information sharing process between different law enforcement agencies easier. According to the Justice Department, having the right information on timely basis makes it easier for the agencies to “connect the dots” of data and thus making it easier to detect potential terrorist threats and address them effectively (McCarthy, 2002).
In addition, the USA Patriot Act makes the process of enforcing money-laundering statutes easier and also allows law enforcers to apply measures, such as to freezing certain organizations’ assets, which disrupt terrorists financing undertakings. The Act also gives law enforcement officials the power to monitor and intercept personal conversations, telephone and Internet conversations, and thus they can easily detect terror plans. Another way that the act helps combat terrorism is by increasing the funds allocated to guard and secure the country’s Northern border (Evans, 2001). For many years, terrorists and potential terrorists have exploited the United State’s Northern border to enter the country and thus guarding it makes it harder for potential terrorists to enter the country. Furthermore, the Act provides resources necessary for training incidents respondents such as firefighters to ensure that any terror attacks are dealt with effectively. It also gives the Attorney General the power to offer rewards to individuals who assist in combating terrorism.
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Finally, the Act allows government agencies to exercise the powers they use non-terrorist crimes in investigating terrorist acts. For example, delaying search warrants notification, which can be an effective crime-fighting tool that that has been used by American courts for decades to combat illegal activities including drug cases, organized crime, and child pornography (Evans, 2001). This is a vital tool employed in preventing, detecting and debilitating potential terrorists on timely basis.
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