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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a controversial question and can be answered in many different ways. In addition, I am sure that there will be many differences of opinion. A good place to start is to give a brief description of the Patriot Act.

The Patriot Act was signed into law on October 26, 2001 under President George W. Bush. This act was an outflow of the terrorist attacks of 911. More specifically, this act limits restrictions for law enforcement officials to gain access to private information, such as telephone and email conversations and financial records. In short, it enables the government to peer into the lives of people who might be suspected of terrorism.

Based on these points, the Patriot Act is good in the sense of potentially providing more security against a terrorist attack, but it is bad in the sense that it encroaches into the private lives of citizens. On the whole, in my opinion, this law is bad, because it gives the government too much power and the dangers of abuse are real. Moreover, it can lead to racial profiling in the most egregious manner.