The USA PATRIOT Act effected Title 18 U.S. Code Section 1030 by updating the definition of?


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This amendment to the controversial USA Patriot Act stipulates stiffer, harsher penalties for people who are convicted of using the Internet to conduct anti-government activities, such as hacking or cyber bullying.

  • Hacking is prevalent on the Web

In the advent of Web-based "protest" groups, such as Wikileaks (which published a mother lode of confidential US military information, allegedly via a "mole" named Bradley Manning, who was enlisted military personnel) and Anonymous (who hack or protest against those who they see as enemies of humanity, including the religious organization, Scientology), the US government is cracking down on those who defy their policies and behavior by doing hacking, computer-based espionage, and cybercrimes.

  • Increasing powers

Some international and American watchdog organizations are worried or appalled by the increasing power of the American government to investigate its own people or foreign citizens. The right to privacy is one issue that often crops up when the Patriot Act is discussed, since the Patriot Act really does give the government more sweeping powers than it ever had before.

The ability to wiretap at will, spy on citizens, and investigate any suspicious behavior can be abused, and watchdog organization members see the Patriot Act as the epitome of Orwellian politics. Lately, there is talk of a "kill" button for the Internet, which will allow the US government to shut off the Internet is they feel it is a security threat - obviously, this new option is being met with marked disapproval by many parties.

The Patriot Act is meant to give the government more scope to investigate people and activities that may work against the American government. Anti-terrorism, anti-hacking, and anti-espionage are prime elements of this controversial set of policies and regulations. In time, there may be more amendments to the Patriot Act, and more protests against these new changes.

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