Political Science Capstone Research Papers

Document Type


Program of Study

Political Science

Presentation Date



Privacy, 9/11, USA PATRIOT Act, Snowden


This paper deals with the seemingly unending balancing act of privacy versus security. To highlight this issue, the topic of discussion is the USA PATRIOT Act and the 9/11 background leading to its passage. Also, covered in the introduction is the state and apparatus of the U.S. intelligence community pre-9/11. As for the specifics of the law, this paper explores Section 213, dealing with the nature of warrants and their changing use in the fight against terrorism, Section 214, regarding wiretaps, including everything from the purpose of the device to the use of warrants to employ them, and finally Section 215, which is arguably the most controversial section of the law that outlines how the U.S. intelligence community uses secret dragnet procedures and programs to spy on unsuspecting U.S. citizens in an effort to collect telecommunications metadata. After the discussion about these sections of the law, the paper highlights the current development of revisions made to the law through the passage of the USA FREEDOM Act, which heeds the call for privacy reform, but does not truly fix the problem. Lastly, this paper offers a Christian worldview interpretation of what the Bible has to say about proper governance and what John Locke, arguably the most influential mind that helped form America’s founding, might have to say on the issue.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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