National Security vs. Individual Privacy
How do Americans react?
ENG 122 English Composition
Professor Lesa Hadley
June 20, 2011
The continental United States was invaded for the first time since the war of 1812. On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked be terrorist that were living in America, trained by Americans, and flying American planes. This puts the war in a different category than other wars in the past. Armed with this information, the government took action and the USA Patriot Act to combat the terrorist threat in this country. This Act gave the government the ability to electronically spy on American citizens via emails, cell phone records, and electronic financial transactions. In 2006, the New York Times wrote an article revealing that the NSA had been secretly on American citizens by order of the President since 9/11. Now that the American people are aware that their privacy is being invaded, how do they feel about it? While researching this thesis, there were many opposing points of view. There seemed to be a lot of polarization among most experts that either supported the government’s actions or was against it for various reasons. Although most experts are out of touch with mainstream America, their opinions, writings, and other forms of media is the way in which mainstream America formulates its opinion. So in order to understand the general populace stance on electronic eavesdropping, this paper will review expert opinions on both sides of the spectrum. Most experts that are against the USA Patriot Act have one major gripe; there are not enough checks and balances. In 2004, the 9/11 Commission began to realize that the American public was not comfortable with the idea of the government invading their privacy. The “commission proposed creating a board within the executive branch to oversee adherence to the guidelines we mend and the commitment the government make to defend civil...
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