Creator: Izzie Levinson
Date Created: 10.26.01
Name of the Document: “The USA PATRIOT Act: Preserving Life and Liberty”
Context: The Patriot Act was a legislative act passed by the US Congress in the weeks shortly following 9/11, which allowed for the American government to increase surveillance activities as a means of rallying the country against terrorist activities and increase a feeling of safety among the American citizens. In 2011, three key elements of the law were extended for an additional four years, which would allow for the government to wiretap communications, enact surveillance on those deemed “lone wolves,” and searching business records of suspects.
Potential relevance for the future: The Patriot Act signified a sea-change in American Congressional attitudes towards Muslim citizens in the country. While covert government activities against marginalized citizens is nothing new in American history, the Patriot Act distinctly targeted the country’s Muslim population in what would be the first in a line of Islamophobic legislative decisions made by our nation’s leaders in the post-9/11 era.
Other relevant headings: 9/11, Patriot Act, Congress, Muslim Ban, Islamophobia, surveillance