December 14, 2012
There is a believed right, not stated in the constitution that is cherished by Americans as much as their freedom of speech or their right to bear arms. It is privacy. A belief that no one may come and search your home without cause, or that personal information about you and your family will be protected and not shown to others. Yet, as much as we enjoy these rights, they are slowly slipping away as laws are passed to fight terrorism.
Privacy was never guaranteed in the constitution. The closest thing to protecting our privacy was the 4th amendment. The amendment protected people from unwarranted search and seizure, but only from the government, not ...view middle of the document...
It needs to do all it can to protect its people, but it needs to do it within the law. The desire to ignore the law in the name of protection can be overwhelming. As tempting as it is, we are a nation of laws, with checks and balances in the system designed to protect us not only from each other but more importantly from the government. When we decide to give up some of our freedom in the name of security, how do we know we will get it back?
Concerns about privacy were elevated with the passing of the Patriot Act in 2001. In it, the government could conduct searches without notifying the subject until after the search. It also allowed the government to get information, like financial or medical records, through “third parties”, as long as it is “terrorism related”
Most defenders of the new laws believe that the government has every right to do whatever it needs to defend its people. That personal right should be given up in sake of protection of the country. There are some people like Robert Turner (2006) who think people would gladly give up some of their rights to fight terrorism. About those who wouldn’t, he says, “They would be asserting that their privacy interests are of greater importance than the right to exist of perhaps tens- or hundreds-of-thousands of their fellow citizens.” Despite what happened in this country in the past concerning wiretapping he feels there is no need for concern about abuse of these programs for political gain. Others like Assistant Attorney General Daniel Bryant (2006) claim “These reforms have been rooted in constitutionally tried and true, court-tested regimes”.
Others feel that despite the need for national security, personal rights...