The Patriot Act, which stands for Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism, was a law of Congress that was signed by President George Bush on October 26, 2011. This act was drafted as a result of the September 11 terrorist attack that claimed thousands of American lives. Members of the Congress believed that for there to be enhanced security, there were a few fundamental rights that would need to be balanced, such as freedom and privacy. Thus, the controversial nature of the bill would make it almost impossible to be signed in prior to the gruesome terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.
In the Patriot Act, government and law enforcement agencies were given more power to tackle the issue of terrorism. This included increased surveillance in movements of suspected criminals and heightened security in airports and other public places. With approval from the federal courts, the agencies also had the right to obtain private or sensitive records if they believe the information will assist them in curbing terrorism. Some of the critics still believe that these government agencies such as the NSA are given too much power, and this may overlap with human rights, such as the right to privacy and movement.
Lack of proper planning and preparedness renders people extremely vulnerable to natural hazards. Part of the responsibilities of a government is to ensure the safety and well-being of its citizens. This means that they need to be well aware of the possible natural hazard that could affect the region. If possible, the most obvious step would be to obstruct this event from occurring. However, many a time, natural hazards occur when there is limited time for citizens to prepare. With prior knowledge, these risks can be managed.
The government must, therefore, be able to limit the chances of adverse effects of natural hazards on its citizens. However, it must ensure the process of limiting does not infringe on their fundamental human rights. Part of the reason people find themselves at risk of natural disasters is due to the lack of insight into the risk at hand. Therefore, the government needs to take steps to create awareness to the public about such matters. They must be informed about the factors of risk, which are mostly hazard and vulnerability. Consequently, the citizens will be able to distance themselves from these hazards. Of great challenge, is the capability to prevent or manage these dangers, and, therefore, the government can work hand in hand with citizens to ensure they realize set goals to the best of their capacity.
The government has set several strategies to provide citizens with an opportunity to report suspicious activities. This includes the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative, which is managed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security. It allows citizens to provide promptly details of suspicious activities witnessed. Such action plans are put in place to provide citizens with an opportunity to help in the war on terrorism and for the interest of the public.
It is prudent for the government to allow every citizen to participate in ensuring the safety of the other. In many of the developed countries, the government has the potential to ensure the security of each individual. However, some scholars have concluded that even the most heightened security still proves insufficient for tackling terrorism and other activities that cause public harm. Violent crimes and terrorist activities have been known to occur even in the most secure areas in the world. Therefore, citizens should be included in the fight against terrorism but to an extent where their lives are not put at risk. This could include reporting suspicious activities to the authorities through anonymous avenues. The authorities will, therefore, determine whether these activities warrant further investigation.
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