Privacy vs. Security Essay

Privacy vs. Security Essay

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Privacy vs. Security


Pictures seen in homes across America and throughout the world of American symbols in flames and crashing a quarter mile to the ground changed the world forever. The world's last and only superpower had been attacked in a way only conceivable in a Hollywood script. However, the physical destruction that resulted was not necessarily the biggest loss that the United States faced. The emotional destruction of Americans could be considered much greater and can be captured in one word: "fear." Because of this fear, most Americans were more willing to sacrifice many of the freedoms that make this country great in exchange for added security. United States citizens were much more concerned about their security than their freedoms. As the President declared war against terrorism, an implicit war was declared against some of our freedoms. In particular, most Americans were more willing to let the government into their lives and forfeit some privacy in the name of increased security.

The events of September 11, 2001 affected not only the United States, but the entire world as well. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the world was left with one remaining superpower. The United States proved in Afghanistan and Iraq that it has the power to defeat an entire country in a minimal amount of time and without losing many of the lives of its own soldiers. However, is it legal to do these acts? Is it the right thing to do? Not only is the United States government interfering with the freedoms of its own citizens, but it is also imposing its own standards and freedoms on people around the globe. Though the United States has shown that it has the power to do so, is the security of the American people para...

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3 "Privacy and Human Rights: An International Survey of Privacy Laws and Practice",
Global Internet Liberty Campaign, 21 Jan. 2004

4 "Surveillance Under the "USA/Patriot" Act", American Civil Liberties Union, 2002, 22
Jan 2004

5 Timothy Lynch, "More Surveillance Equals Less Liberty: Patriot Act reduces privacy,
undercuts judicial review", 2003, 20 Jan. 2004

6 "United States of America", Global Internet Liberty Campaign, 21 Jan. 2004

7 "USA Patriot Act" United States Senate, 2001, 20 Jan. 2004

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