Fourth Amendment Issues and the War on Terror Term Paper by Nicky

A brief discussion on post 9/11 counterterrorism efforts that clash with Fourth Amendment protections.
# 149768 | 728 words | 2 sources | APA | 2011 | US

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper outlines the protections offered by the Fourth Amendment and describes how the Patriot Act has permitted counterterrorism efforts that conflict with these fundamental rights. The paper considers a possible solution to balancing effective counterterrorism and the Fourth Amendment and concludes that if this nation is to overcome the terrorist threat, it must be without undermining those rights and protections that are fundamental to national principles and which distinguish us from the terrorists who wish to cause us harm.

The Fourth Constitutional Amendment
The Patriot Act and the FBI
Impermissible Surveillance and the NSA
Possible Solutions to Balancing Effective Counterterrorism and the Fourth Amendment

From the Paper:

"One of the most significant legislative changes to be implemented after the September 11, 2001 attacks was the USA PATRIOT ACT. It was intended to allow federal law enforcement authorities responsible for counterterrorism and homeland security additional tools to protect the United States from future terrorist attacks. In principle, the Act provides specific formal guidelines for pursuing certain types of investigations in connection with counterterrorism as exceptions to more general Fourth Amendment constraints on law enforcement (Larsen, 2007: Schmalleger, 2008).
"However, several highly publicized events illustrated the degree to which Fourth Amendment rights are vulnerable to law enforcement investigations through the counterterrorism mechanisms of the Act. In particular, the lack of proper oversight and compliance with procedural rules governing the use of national security letters by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) suggested that some of those counterterrorism tools conflicted with the fundamental rights associated with the Fourth Amendment (Schmalleger, 2008). The intended use of national security letters by the FBI to review library records, for one example, exposed ordinary American citizens to impermissible violations of the Fourth Amendment rights and protections that are fundamental to national concepts of liberty and freedom. Even worse, subsequent review revealed that the highest levels of FBI management who were supposed to guarantee compliance with procedural protections misunderstood some of the most important aspects of the Act and the authorized uses of national security letters (Larsen, 2007)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Larsen, R. (2007). Our Own Worst Enemy: Asking the Right Questions About Security to Protect You, Your Family, and America. New York: Grand Central Publishing.
  • Schmalleger, F. (2008). Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the 21st Century. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Fourth Amendment Issues and the War on Terror (2011, December 30) Retrieved July 08, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Fourth Amendment Issues and the War on Terror" 30 December 2011. Web. 08 July. 2020. <>