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The Patriot Act And Its Effect On Corporations

3276 words - 14 pages

The Patriot Act and its Effect on Corporations
SECR 5080 – Term Paper
9 May 2015

Table of Contents
Abstract – page 3
Introduction – page 3
Current State of Affairs as by the law – page 5
Impact on computing – page 6
Surveillance on Businesses – page 9
Penalty on non-compliance – page 10
Internet Service Providers – page 10
Conclusion – page 12
References – page 13

The Patriot Act was written into law just a mere 45 days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. The Patriot Act was intended to counter terrorism by providing law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies with an easier means to target those connected to terrorism. The ...view middle of the document...

Critics of this law believe that the passing of the Act was done with haste from the fear that engulfed the country following the September 11 attack. This argument may hold some truth since the passing of the Patriot Act was exceptional from other proposed laws that would have to go through inter-agency review, committee hearing process, and voting. The Patriot Act was excluded from this process, less studied by the Congress and insufficiently debated without testaments from experts outside law enforcement to make changes to it and consider its approval.
The Patriot Act gives both domestic law enforcement bodies and international intelligence agencies sweeping powers to ensure safety of America and its infrastructure regardless of the cost. Security in America is therefore tighter than before, with safer borders and higher level of information sharing throughout government agencies to intercept and neutralize security and terror threats. The provisions in Section II of the Patriot Act are quite specific to surveillance procedures of government agencies, which probably cause the most ruckus both locally and internationally because of gross violation of privacy. From the Act, regulations are implemented on the general conduct of companies with regard to disclosure of information that is used to assess any security threats. Corporations are therefore directly involved with the surveillance procedures of the American government where companies have to comply with the requirements of the Patriot Act through allowing access of business records and sensitive client information as part of intelligence gathering. Operations of corporations, especially financial institutions and information technology companies, are affected largely and directly by the Patriot Act, which demands that such companies should report suspicious transactions to law enforcement authorities against company privacy agreements. This paper therefore seeks to look into the impact that the Patriot Act has had on the operations of corporations and the questions that arise from the provisions of the law.

Current State of Affairs as by the Law
In its passing and enactment, the Patriot Act amended about 16 other existing laws to conform to its requirements. Among the list of laws that were effectively changed from the passing of the Patriot Act were Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Money Laundering Act, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Wiretap Statute, Bank Secrecy Act, Right to Financial Privacy Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and Electronic Communications Privacy Act among others relevant to the demands of the Patriot Act. The Act itself is however equivocal and cannot be interpreted per se, but by referring to other Acts to give it more meaning. Corporations are more apt to find themselves in trouble for non-compliance since it is difficult to make interpretations of the provisions within the law. An example of the vague nature of the document lies in Section III (Sec. 359), which...

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