It's hard to imagine it's already been a decade, but 10 years ago today, in the wake of , President George W. Bush signed The PATRIOT Act into law.
"Today, we take an essential step in defeating terrorism, while protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans," President Bush said while signing the law. "With my signature, this law will give intelligence and law enforcement officials important new tools to fight a present danger."
The law passed the House by a vote of 357 to 66 and passed the Senate by a vote of 98 to 1.
According to politifact.com, then-candidate Barack Obama ran on the platform that as president, he "would revisit the PATRIOT Act to ensure that there is real and robust oversight of tools like National Security Letters, sneak-and-peek searches, and the use of the material witness provision."
But in May of this year, minutes before some provisions of the act were set to expire, President Obama signed a four-year extension into law, according to The Huffington Post.
"It's an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat," Obama said at the time.
The act is not without its opponents.
Congressmen Ron Paul (R-TX), himself a candidate for the Republican nomination to run for the President of the United States, voted against the act in 2001 and has been against it since.
"The 4th Amendment is rather clear, it says that we should be secure in our papers, our person, our homes and our effects," Paul said in February, voicing opposition to extending the act. "But let's say a law makes us somewhat safer. Is that a justification for the government to do anything they want? For instance, if you want to be perfectly safe from child abuse and wife beating, the government could put a camera in every one of our houses and our bedrooms and maybe there would be somebody made safer this way. But what would you be giving up?"
Patch asked State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) her thoughts on the act.
"It is unfortunate that the realities of today’s dangerous world have led to a bipartisan endorsement and continuation of the PATRIOT. Those of us that remember the world as it was before September 11 long for the privacy and ease of travel that as taken for granted," she said. "This measure has been an enormous intrusion in our daily lives and has had enormous societal costs, both financially and to our collective sense of security. As long as there are those that wish to destroy our way of life, however, a return to the past may not be possible in the short term."