On October 26, 2001, the PATRIOT Act of 2001was signed into law by President Bush as a direct result of the terrorist acts involving homeland security (Bullock, Haddow. & Coppola, 2013, 51). This act gave law enforcement agencies the proper legal authority to collect information on suspected terrorists and terrorist organizations, to deter terrorists from entering and operating within the United States, and to limit the ability of terrorists to engage in activities such as money-laundering that are used to support terrorist activities. It relaxed restrictions on the sharing of information between law enforcement agencies within the United States. It made it illegal to harbor terrorists. Roving wiretaps were also authorized and non-citizens could be held for up to 7 days without specific charges being filed. Additionally, greater subpoena powers were given for email records. The number of border patrol agencies was tripled and additional measures were put in place against money laundering (Bullock, Haddow. & Coppola, 2013, 52). Statute of limitations for terrorist crimes was eliminated.
The United Kingdom does not have one department that is responsible for homeland security (Archick, Ek, Gallis, Miko, F, & Woehrel, 2006, 36). These responsibilities belong to several government agencies who cooperate and coordinate with each other. After the attacks of 9/11, the UK began to focus on international terrorism and it enhanced its emergency planning and response capabilities. In April 2004, the British government outlined its comprehensive, cross-departmental Counterterrorism Strategy, called CONTEST. This plan is focused on the concepts of prevent, pursue, protect, and prepare. Prevention addresses the underlying causes of terrorism at home and abroad. Pursuit tries to disrupt terrorist organizations and their ability to operate. Protection involves protecting citizens, critical infrastructure, and sites that are of the greatest risk to terrorist activity. Prepare is to respond and recover from terrorist attacks. This plan takes advantage of the existing expertise and resources within the UK government. The plan integrates counterterrorism and preparedness with emergency management and response efforts.
These two acts can have international impacts. In the United States, non-US citizens can be detained for up to seven days. Those from foreign countries may be seen as more suspicious and could be targeted for investigation or detention. Each nation places the upmost priority to the protection of its own citizens, but there is also a need to work together in a global effort to reduce to prevalence of terrorist activity. Laws, norms, and customs of each country may differ, but their goals are similar in providing a world that is secure, safe, and free from acts of terrorism. Even though their legislation may be written in different ways, the ultimate goals are the same.
Archick, K., Ek, C., Gallis, P., Miko, F. T., & Woehrel, S. (2006). European approaches to homeland security and counterterrorism. Retrieved from http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL33573.pdf
Bullock, J. A., Haddow, G. D. & Coppola, D. P. (2013). Introduction to homeland security (5th ed.). Waltham, MA: Elsevier Inc.
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