Much has been written about the USA Patriot Act, and the controversy that surrounds this far-reaching legislation has also generated a great deal of confusion and uncertainty about its impact and importance in the war on terrorism. As Professor Kam C. Wong notes in this important contribution to the literature: “There is little scholarly research on the legislation, implementation and impact of the Act.”
Undoubtedly, few Americans are actually aware of most of the details in the Act, or its implications in a free society. The events of September 11, 2001 in attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon prompted a unique response by Congress in passing a series of wide reaching laws, expanding the powers of law enforcement and the judiciary. Of particular concern to many are the requirements of public and private organizations to provide information in connection with homeland security that is considered intrusive and in violation of privacy rights. Ultimately, it will be many years before the actual impact of the Patriot Act can be assessed. In this new and important book, Professor Wong provides a critical analysis of the legislation and its capacity for abuse.