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The clumsily-titled Uniting and Strengthening America by providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism 145 introduced a plethora of legislative changes which significantly increased the surveillance and investigative powers of law enforcement agencies in the United States Legislative proposals in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001 were introduced less than a week after the attacks President Bush signed the final bill the USA PATRIOT Act into law on October 26 2001 United States Congress Though the act made significant amendments to over fifteen important statutes it was introduced with great haste and passed with little debate and without a House Senate or conference report Civil libertarians are troubled critic Richard Posner claims because They fear that concerns about national security will lead to an erosion of civil liberties 141 Advocates of civil liberties are appalled at the Patriot Act as a most Unpatriotic invasion of privacy Civil liberties advocates argue that the scope of the FBIs powers under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act is broader than what government officials have publicly acknowledged Among other things the documents show that the controversial provision can be used to obtain an individuals apartment keys The 2003 Foreign Surveillance Act annual report reveals that Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court granted 1724 applications for secret surveillance last year more than in any previous year httpwwwfasorgirpagencydojfisa The report shows that 2003 was the first year ever that more secret surveillance warrants were granted than federal wiretap warrants which are issued only under a more stringent standard The Patriot Act significantly expanded the governments authority to make use of secret surveillance including in circumstances where part of the investigation is unrelated to an intelligence investigation A Question of Freedom thus violating the Amendment IV of the United States Constitution The right of the people to be secure in their persons houses papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures
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