Privacy vs. National Security

Topics: American Civil Liberties Union, USA PATRIOT Act, Federal Bureau of Investigation Pages: 6 (1851 words) Published: February 12, 2013
Running header: PRIVACY VS. NAT. 1

Privacy vs. National Security
Steven E. Smith
ENG122 English Composition II
December 1, 2012


The scope and nature of the problem is that after September 11, 2001 the government has enhanced its surveillance procedure to a frightening level. With one policy, “The USA Patriot Act-2001,” the US government has effectively turned the United States of America into a police state. This policy gives the government run agencies the right to spy on its citizens. Agents can gather information by physically watching, or by other covert means such as wire taps. It is no longer a specific phone line but on individuals. It allows service providers to disclose information and protects them from court action when the do. It permits a delay in warrant notification, giving agents the ability to search before they have a warrant in hand. This policy gives the government the right to accuse, intimidate, and imprison its citizens of terrorism, and ignore the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights was created to protect the people from various injustices that the government could commit. The amendments that are affected the most are the 1st, 4th, and the 6th. (Asian Tribune,[Hallstavik],June 5,2012, US Patriot Act has denied Americans their freedom) Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people peaceably to assemble, and petition the government for a redress of grievances.(Hamilton, A.,1775, The Bill of Rights) The Patriot Act gives the government the freedom to monitor religious and political institutions without just cause. The government also now has the authority to prosecute any type of record keeper if they reveal that the government has subpoenaed information from them for a terrorism PRIVACY VS. NAT. 3

Investigation. (Asian Tribune, [Hallstavik], June 5, 2012, US Patriot Act has denied Americans their freedom) Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause. Supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (Hamilton, A., 1775, Bill of Rights) The Patriot Act of course now gives the US government to do just that. They may search and seize a citizen’s property without probable cause regardless of it pertinence to a terror investigation. (Asian Tribune [Hallstavik], June 5, 2012, US Patriot Act has denied Americans their freedom) Amendment VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed at the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. (Hamilton, A., 1775, Bill of Rights) The Patriot Act has given the government the power to jail US citizens indefinitely without charge or trial, or even to confront the witnesses against them. Once labeled an “unlawful combatant”, the accused can and have been held without communication and denied their right PRIVACY VS. NAT. 4 to an attorney. When they are permitted the attorneys and housed in a federal prison, they lose the right to attorney/client privilege. The government now has the right to monitor those communications as well. (Asian Tribune...

References: Asian Tribune [Hallstavik], (June 5, 2012), US Patriot Act has denied Americans their freedom,
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Doyle, C., (April 19, 2008), Patriot Act: “A Sketch,
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Scalliger, C. (May 21, 2012), Knowing every bit about you. The New American issue 28,
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