Civil Liberties VS National Security

Essay by Churchee9324High School, 12th grade June 2004

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All Americans would agree that it is important to feel safe and secure. But the important question posed is: are Americans ready and willing to give up many everyday freedoms that we take for granted? My answer is no. I understand it is the government's job to protect its people and keep them safe, but having some of my liberties taken away from me is not something that I am ready to give up.

As discussed in class, the Patriot Act would limit one's privacy and freedoms, and make it easier for the government to check anyone's personal records for any signs of terrorist activity. One such record is the history of one's library book check-outs. If I were to check-out a book having to do with terrorism, then I would be red flagged, and an investigation would follow. But what if I only checked out the book to do research for my political science class? What if I were running for a political office, or if I held a high position at a prestigious company? Knowing the media today, everyone would know about the book I checked out, and all would question my motives.

But regardless of my motives, my chances at winning office dramatically drop, and most likely, I would be laid-off from my job. All of this just because I checked out a book for research purposes? And now, I am not able to pay my bills for my house, car, etc. because I have no job. From here only a downhill trend and chain reaction can follow.

Not only can a situation similar to the aforementioned occur, but also, much more privacy can be lost. If this legislation passes, permission for phone line tapping is easily granted, where in the past, it was difficult to obtain.