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But that does not necessarily mean the laws will work only for that group, or apply only to similar types of terrorist attacks.

Al-Qaeda’s attack on 9/11 spurred the creation of the USA PATRIOT Act.

The ratchet effect can occur because it is challenging to repeal laws in democracies.He wrote that when the Act was first drafted, one of the most controversial provisions concerned the process by which government agencies obtain business records for intelligence or law enforcement purposes.Sensenbrenner stated that particular provision of the Act requires government lawyers to prove to the FISC that a request for specific business records is linked to an “authorized investigation” and further stated that “targeting US citizens is prohibited” as part of the request.Each new baseline of legal normalcy represents a new launching pad for additional future anti-terrorism measures.There is not universal consensus on whether or not the ratchet effect is real, nor on how powerful it may be.

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