The Sedition Act was passed by Congress in 1918. The law made it a crime to criticize by speech or writing the government or Constitution. During the Red Scare (1919-20) A. Mitchell Palmer, the attorney general and his special assistant, John Edgar Hoover, used the Sedition Act and the Espionage Act (1917) to launch a campaign against radicals and left-wing organizations. Under these two laws 1500 people were arrested for disloyalty. Most were eventually released but Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Mollie Steimer and 245 other people, were deported to Russia.