Homeland Security- USA Patriot Act
Case study2: USA Patriot Act
The USA Patriot Act stands for “Uniting and Strengthening American by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism”. The aim of the law is to recognize terror suspects early before they commit any acts of terror. The act suspends all due processes when an individual is suspected to be part of terrorism acts.
The case mentioned above was interpreted as the USA Patriot Act since the authorities are said to have gotten a call regarding bomb threats. All threats of bombs are treated as terrorist acts. The case above was treated as USA Patriotic Act as it involved actions that, in accordance to the law, are deemed as terrorist threats not just to the people but the country as a whole. From the point of view of the authorities, the boy issues a threat and that made him to be in violation of the law (Department of Justice, 2008).
The case should be treated as the USA Patriot Act since according to the laws, anybody involved in the use of bombs and who issues threats about bombs is technically looked upon as a terrorist. Terrorist activities also come in varying ways according to the law. It involves money laundering as well. Such threats get issues through use of technology like the Internet and devices such as phones. This boy might not have been found with large amounts of money, however, the fact the call was made from his home permits the case to be treated as USA Patriot Act (USA Patriot Act, 2013). This is due to the fact such concerns are effectively tackled through use of this law only and not any other.
The protection of the populace against unfair treatment by the law is balanced by making amendments to the act. As such, the law is supposed to be amended so it permits law enforcement agencies to follow due processes. In this instance, the law superseded all due processes as such, the individual is declared guilty before they can even be arraigned in court and proven otherwise. As such, to balance the protection of the population, the law is supposed to follow all the due processes. This balance can be achieved by incorporating traditional civil laws into the act (American Government, 2013).
Traditional civil rights permit due process to be followed whenever an individual is suspected of involvement in terror activities. The civil rights law also allows individuals to be viewed as innocent while investigations are ongoing on their alleged acts. Traditional civil right laws as well give the relatives and family members of the suspect an opportunity to have contact with him or her unlike in this instance where the mother did not have any contact with her son (American Government, 2013). The law, as well permits the suspect to defend themselves with the assistance of a lawyer and their families. In the case of Lundeby son, this was not the case. As such, to balance protection of the population with the civil traditional rights, these rights should be incorporated into the USA Patriot Act.
In the US, technology has played a crucial role in curbing crime. In this instance, it can be said technology played the major role as it is through the phone call that officers located the origin of the alleged bomb threat (Department of Justice, 2008). The USA Patriot Act permits law enforcement officers to use technology to curb terrorist crimes. Use of technology makes it possible for them to locate where the alleged suspect of the crime is located. The major question is whether the authorities are able to use that same technology to find out whether the suspect is the one that made the call or whether someone else hacked into the computer of the suspect and made the call.
Consequently, in this case, the argument can be made that provision of use of technology to locate the origin of the crime suspect was never sufficient. This is due to the fact it is not evident that the authorities, verified beyond reasonable doubt that the boy was the one who made the call. Additionally, they could not verify beyond doubt that a hacker maliciously placed the call (GPO, 2001).
The one aspect that needs to be made to the USA Patriot Act is that it should follow all the due processes. As a matter of fact, research shows that the law is above all due processes (American government, 2013). This was wrong as it denied the same individuals it was supposed to protect from inappropriate justice. The law does not even permit individuals to be deemed as innocent until proven guilty. As such, the act should be amended so it can incorporate all due processes found in the American Civil laws so as to serve and protect all individuals. This will make it possible for the act to serve the purpose it was intended for more effectively.
American Government. (2013). Civil liberties and civil rights. Retrieved from http://www.ushistory.org/gov/10.asp
Department of Justice (2008). The USA PATRIOT Act: Preserving Life and Liberty. Retrieved from http://www.justice.gov/archive/ll/highlights.htm
GPO (2001). Public law act. Retrieved from http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-107publ56/pdf/PLAW-107publ56.pdf
USA Patriot Act (2013). Financial crime enforcement network. Retrieved from http://www.fincen.gov/statutes_regs/patriot/