Individual Privacy Vs National Security Essay

2528 words - 11 pages

Individual Privacy vs. National Security
Anthony Sifuentes
ENG 122 English Composition II
Instructor vonFrohling
February 13, 2012

Individual Privacy vs. National Security
The need to protect National Security is far more important than individual privacy. The greatest part of living in the United States of America is the freedom that we have. That freedom and the right to live freely is protected by various government agencies. From time to time, the privacy a person has may have to be invaded to guarantee the security of the country and other citizens. Everyone has the right to not have their life controlled by the government, but it has the right to make sure that citizens ...view middle of the document...

Privacy is, and should continue to be, a fundamental dimension of living in a free, democratic society. Laws protect “government, credit, communications, education, bank, cable, video, motor vehicle, health, telecommunications, children’s and financial information; generally carve out exceptions for disclosure of personal information; and authorize the use of warrants, subpoenas, and court orders to obtain the information.” (Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists: A Framework for Program Assessment, 2008) This is where a lot of people feel as though they have their privacy violated. Most Americans are law-abiding citizens who do not commit illegal acts against the country, they want to go about their lives, minding their own business and not having to worry about outside interference. The fine line between privacy and National Security may not be so fine in everyone’s mind. While it is the job of government agencies to ensure the overall safety of the country and those living in it, the citizens that obey the law and do not do anything illegal often wonder why they are subject to any kind of search, when they can clearly point out, through documentation, that they have never done anything wrong.
Both National Security and individual privacy were massively affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In a matter of minutes, four airplanes were hijacked by members of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda. Two planes crashed into the World Trade Center buildings 1 and 2, one into the Pentagon and the last went down in a field in Pennsylvania. Regardless of our personal feelings about what happened that day, the simple fact is that National Security was extremely lacking at that time. Those attacks were planned years in advance, they were not spur of the moment acts. The reason the terrorists were able to get control of the airplanes was due to poor security checks in the airport. Since then, the laws regarding how people are searched at the airport have been changed, what is allowed on airplanes has been changed, and enforcement of these laws have changed. Searches are more thorough, take longer time, and can sometimes be an inconvenience. Transportation Security Agency (TSA) website clearly outlines the laws about what can and cannot be taken through the security checkpoints.
Just a month after the terrorist attacks on September 11, the Patriot Act was signed into action by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The Patriot Act is short for the USA PATRIOT ACT, a ten letter acronym for: The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. The purpose of the USA PATRIOT Act is to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and other purposes. (http://www.fincen.gov/statutes_regs/patriot/index.html) The Patriot Act is designed to protect the country...

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