Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Patriot Act: Security or Privacy as the Priority?


Using the following two pages and other reputable sources, compare and contrast the arguments for and against the Patriot Act. Be prepared to cite specific reasons for your argument.

http://www.aclu.org/reform-patriot-act

http://www.justice.gov/archive/ll/highlights.htm


If you find a statistic or interesting fact that you want to share with the class, please post it here:

http://corkboard.me/Cg89pSaQcJ

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that to a certain extent it is necessary to curb some civil rights to protect our country from the threat of terrorism. However the Patriot Act takes it way to far. The parameters for what info can be collected totally does away with search and seizure, the secret phone recording is a huge violation of the rights of the accused, and the idea that they can investigate those two or three times removed from the suspect takes it to far. We need to be safe and keep our rights. The Patriot Act takes away a lot of our legal rights that are given to us under the constitution.

-Rachel

Anonymous said...

I feel like you can't infringe upon a human beings civil liberties under any circumstance. America is supposed to be the so called "land of the free". The PATRIOT ACT throws away the rights we're supposed to have. Maybe if we united with the world to work towards progression, freedom, and sustainability, we would eliminate any persons need to commit a terrorist act. Violating our rights doesn't make anyone happy and it sure won't solve any major issues at hand here. Taking away our civil liberties does the opposite of protecting our freedom.
-Diandra

Anonymous said...

Sing it sister!!!!!

-Rachel

Anonymous said...

I personally feel that the Patriot Act is an infringement on our personal privacy because the US government can "tap" our phone lines without us knowing, and it also gives them the right to search our homes. I feel that the US government should take a more active role in out nation's security, but I don't think that it should require American's rights to be taken away. I don't think that the War on Terror will end anytime soon; I think that it will continue to get worse.

Tyler Miller

Anonymous said...

I feel that the government has certain things that it can do to protect our nation from the threat of terrorist. If the Feds feel it needed to search a home I believe they have the right to. However they do need to have probable cause when searching a home or tapping a phone line.
-Mr. Close

Anonymous said...

I believed that Patriot Act is necessary to ensure security in our country. While it is an annoyance to learn that government can get your information, they need to be able to see a threat in advance for our protection. It isn't like the government is going to just listen in on a conversation about your latest break, they're just going to be listening in on things with certain words, like 'bomb' or 'firearms'; if you are not a threat then you have nothing to worry about. 
-Monica

Anonymous said...

National security is extremely important to combating the threats of terrorism we face today. The measures of the patriot act are in no way extreme and are useful in preventing terrorist threats today.
However, measures must be made to ensure that those monitored in fact do have evidence of terrorism against them. However, any measures of surveillance and passive interrogation (no coercion or any measures of intimidation or torture) of immediate family are permissible against those with proven tangible evidence or affiliations with terrorist groups against them. The lone wolf measures are nessesary to combating the lone wolf threat we face today. Suspected terrorists with evidence against them shouldn't be allowed to know or predict where the security forces will search or watch.

Tyler Holt said...

First off, the government could do any of these investigations without us knowing anyhow. So basically they're going to do it even if The Patriot Act wasn't enacted. Secondly, if there's a realistic threat, the government should handle it. However, they shouldn't be wire tapping everybody's technology and their houses for no apparent reason. That would threaten our liberties not only as Americans, but as human beings. The war on terror will never end. They're literally everywhere. We should be more worried about the American people killing other Americans. I guarantee that our own people have caused more terrorist attacks than any other organization has.

Anonymous said...

National security is extremely important to combating the threats of terrorism we face today. The measures of the patriot act are in no way extreme and are useful in preventing terrorist threats today.
However, measures must be made to ensure that those monitored in fact do have evidence of terrorism against them. However, any measures of surveillance and passive interrogation (no coercion or any measures of intimidation or torture) of immediate family are permissible against those with proven tangible evidence or affiliations with terrorist groups against them. The lone wolf measures are nessesary to combating the lone wolf threat we face today. Suspected terrorists with evidence against them shouldn't be allowed to know or predict where the security forces will search or watch.
-Nathan.

Tyler holt said...

2000 people were killed by terrorists in 2005. There were 29000 people killed in gun related deaths alone in America. Now which one should we be concerned with.

Kortni said...

If the government has suspicions about possible terrorist attacks, they should have rights above the people to be able to violate or take away some of our civil liberties in order to protect our freedom. This will only occur when there is a reason for it. However, some things are being taken too far. Accessing personal business records and wiretapping phone lines are extreme acts of privacy violation. The government has already more than doubled surveillance in recent years to keep the country safer. Americans still deserve privacy to an extent, no matter how much they are "protecting our freedoms."

Anonymous said...

There are necessary evils that the United States must take in order to prevent terrorism. To an extent, this is all a bit extreme, but Americans need to decide what is more important, their civil liberties,  or their safety. If the government wants to check my house without a warrant, I should have nothing to worry about unless I've done something wrong, in which I should be punished accordingly for my actions anyway. The war on terrorism will never be over because there will always be terrorists. Unless America wants to become isolated from the rest of the world, Americans need to worry about security. The Patriot Act was made because of the 9/11 attacks, if the hadn't occurred, we wouldn't be worried about it.
-Courtney Smith

Anonymous said...

I believe that the patriot act was an overreaction to the events of 9/11 and that they don't have any right to monitor anyone they want to with no proof of wrongdoing. They could be reading this right now!!!! Just kidding. But I don't think that the threat from terrorists is high enough for our rights to be violated in such a manner. The government is basically just taking away our freedom in the name of protecting it. It probably won't end anytime soon for many reasons of which I don't have time to write about.
Zane Mokhiber

Cat Watson said...

The government should not have the ability to remove any of our civil liberties, regardless of the reason behind doing so. Based on what I read most of the Patriot Act involves a lot of unlawful search and seizure. For example in section 215 of the patriot act the government has the ability to obtain anything related to a terrorism investigation, even if the thing doesn't have anything to do with a suspected terrorist, or suspected terrorist activities. Also in section 206 the government is able to gather intelligence surveillance orders that don't identify the person or the facility to be "tapped." Section 6001 gives the government the ability to secretly gather intelligence surveillance of non-US citizens who are not affiliated with a foreign organization. Also National Security Letters (NSLs) permit the government to obtain communications, financial/credit records of anyone that has been deemed relevant to a terrorism investigation, even if a person isn't suspected of unlawful behavior. While these four things do allow for more information on terrorist attacks IF there is a valid reason for doing so. But these four things also affect the general public that may or may not be involved with terrorism. By attempting to solve one problem more are being created by eliminating certain civil liberties that most people are used to having and expect to have. 

-Cat

John Langenstein said...

The patriot act has undergone quite a bit of criticism, but is this a fitting attack? If we look upon the hard facts of this act, it is made with the sole purpose of protecting the American people. The main phrase used by the ACLU in protesting this act of legislature is that this "provision is contrary to traditional notions".  I am a fairly conservative fellow, but I am not afraid to see the world change for the better. I do not believe that this is an attack upon human dignity, but a protection of our fundamental rights.

The main criticism is that this act allows search and seizure at the slightest suggestion of terrorist activity. I can see how this would be terrifying... To a terrorist. We in this nation, those of us who are law abiding citizens have no reason to fear. Now, some may say groundless searches will lead to ungrounded arrest. That is hardly a concern. Prisons, among many of their conditions, cost money, as do these investigations. To think that the government plans on doing purely random searches, and attack random citizens is simply not economically, or temporally sound. 

This act protects us by searching suspected terrorists without them being aware of the surveillance. If these suspected terrorists have no incriminating evidence, then there's no reason to think that they will be unfairly treated. It is simple paranoia that leads to the critical attacks on this act. I think we can all agree the lives of tree hundred million people is more important than the protection of your search history and who you call. Despite popular Western thought, it's not all about you. This act could very we ll save us.

Caleb Murray said...

Ill start out by rephrasing the question, to emphasize what Is actually happening. "Do you feel it is appropriate for the Gov. to take away freedom in order to protect our freedom?" No, I do not think it is appropriate. The government shouldn't be able to take away certain civil liberties with little or no proof. That process invites false accusations and unjust incarcerations. Mass hysteria, that's what causedn this. After the events of September 11th, people freaked out. Understandable, but we shouldn't rob Americans of their rights just becaused we are scared.
-Caleb Murray

Anonymous said...

While the Patriot Act has good intentions and may have seemed necessary at the time it was enacted, ultimately it seems like it was a sort of panicky move on the part of the government. It clearly infringes on our rights to privacy and while I can understand wanting to protect the country, there have to be better ways to do it than disregarding or civil liberties.

As far as the war on terror goes, there is always going to be conflict between nations. The extremity will vary throughout time, but ultimately yes, terrorism will always be a problem, no matter how big.

Nativa Kesecker

C.Shetler said...

As Ben Franklin once said "He who sacrifices liberty for security is a fool and deserves neither." With the passage of the USA Patriot Act our liberties as Americans are now threatened more then ever. Don't let the name fool you. There is nothing Patriotic about the Patriot Act. The intrusion of the government into our private lives should not be tolerated by any Americans. It seems as though we as citizens are now guilty until proven innocent. What about Habeus Corpus? The wiretapping, tracking and information storing in an attempt to prevent terrorism violates our civil liberties. Robert C. Byrd voted in favor of the Patriot Act while serving in the senate. Later he said "I have made a mistake in voting for this bill. The path to the unraveling of our civil liberties has begun." I leave you with this, you have a better chance of being struck be lighting then being killed by a terrorist. FACT! We need to maintain innocent until proven guilty; not the contrary.

Anonymous said...

While I feel that Americans need to be and feel secure, the Patriot Act takes national security to a ridiculous level. All people, regardless of their race or nationality, deserve certain civil rights, and the Patriot Act takes them away. Things like monitoring/recording phone conversations seem like wastes of time and energy, as it's unlikely that real terrorists are going to be talking to all of their terrorist friends about blowing stuff up via telephone. Instead of collecting information that could combat terrorism, the government could end up with a bunch of private information about civilians. I don't think that the war in terror will ever truly be over, realistically.
Kaiti

Anonymous said...

I think giving up some civil rights is appropriate to protect our freedom. In situations something has to be given up in order to receive something better, or in this case to protect our freedom. Every one has more advanced technology today, and on the negative side of things that means everyone can be more of a threat. Then on the other side of things we are now able to protect ourselves from those people that pose a threat; we just have to be willing to give up some of our privacy to do that. It's a fair trade off. Honestly, only the people that pose areal threat to our freedom are thef ones who need to worry. -Rebekah

Anonymous said...

The word privacy is never mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. We do not have a right to privacy. The PATRIOT act is 100% constitutional. If you have nothing to hide from the government, why should you be worried about the government doing some snooping around. I feel that the safety of our country far outweighs any privacy.

-Jacob M.

Anonymous said...

I think that giving up rights ang liberties to protect our countr and the people who live in it is not only reasonable but honorable. Would you rather have the government be able to see what library books you've checked out, or grt your house blown up by terrorists? You shouldn't even have anything to hid from the government. The only people who should have a problem with this act are terrorists and criminals. Levi Ellis

Anonymous said...

I feel giving up some civil liberties to ensure our nation's safety is okay. The government is not trying to become a "big brother." They don't want to hear about your life. They are listening for key words and phrases to keep our nation secure. Would you rather have a terrorist attack, or let our government be informed enough to prevent something as drastic as this from occurring? I think it is a small price to pay for security.

Anonymous said...

Karissa (above)

Anonymous said...

In my opinion the government should not be able to take away any civil liberties in order to protect our freedom. However my opinion is irrelevant as the supreme court disagrees. While I believe that an emergency does not create power the supreme court has decided that the president has the inherent power to make necessary decisions during times of national crisis. These are referred to as emergency powers. -Dakota Maravelis

Anonymous said...

The Patriot Act takes away our rights as citizens of The United States of America. The government already controls so much of our lives as citizens, why should they get to access our homes, check on our phones, etc? Yes, we should worry about terrorist attacks but our own people living in the U.S. serve more of a threat than the few people who are determined to abolish our country. Therefore, why should we the people have to sacrifice our privacy for the few who make it into America that shouldn't be here? No, we shouldn't have a single thing to hide from our government but there are some things that are meant to keep private and we the people have the right to our civil liberties.

-Danielle Cullers

Dr. Trump said...

There is not a single place in the US Constitution that mentions the word "privacy". Privacy is considered a luxury in the United States and our freedom and safety extremely outweighs our need for personal space.

Yes, the Patriot Act is outdated as it was it in place after 9/11, but even though Bin Laden is no longer a threat, the threat of terrorism still looms over our heads.

The trustworthy American citizen should have nothing to hide from the government, which, under responsible officials, would not release personal information whatsoever but only use said information to protect our people from a catastrophe like the twin towers happening again,

And honestly, is our petty privacy really worth the chance of another 9/11? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

I feel it is not only ok but necessary for the United States government to take away our civil liberties for our own safety. The government sometimes does over-step its boundaries but it's better to be safe than sorry. If left unchecked I feel people could get hurt if the government doesn't keep a good eye on its citizens. Recently a person on a college campus was talking about doing a school shooting on his campus, but the school and government officials got a hold of this info and stopped the kid before he could have done this act. They found he had all of the necessary provisions to do a shooting and this act aided in saving American lives. I feel the patriot act is necessary for our safety from terrorists from abroad and domestically. -Walter Leary

Anonymous said...

There are good parts of the Patriot Act, such as the ability of government agencies to band together and combine separate information to "connect-the-dots" but I think it needs limited still to a degree. We have the strongest military in the world and the best intelligence. We are more careful now than ever since 911 and our investigative abilities into possible terrorist activites are more strict than ever. The panic is over though and the extreme power given by this Patriot Act, power given only because of our post-911 fears and insecurities, needs repealed. Any parts that I would consider keeping needs drawn into a separate act.

Jessica Graham

Bubba said...

I believe that the government has no right to take rights away just to protect us from "possible" terrorist attacks. If the government would just mind it's business and only worry about import and export, there wouldn't even be a fear of terrorist attacks. We got into everyone's affairs and got into things we shouldn't have. At the same time, since the fear is present and there's nothing we can do to stop it immediately, I do think the government needs to protect us, but I'm certain there's a better way than taking our rights.