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Patriot Act

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Dec. 30th, 2005 | 12:21 am
posted by: oxnardbrian in _discussion

Patriot Act Anecdote

The shit is proverbially hitting the fan with certain things in the Bush Administration. One of these things is the debate over "security" vs. "privacy." Does the Patriot Act go too far?

How much privacy are you willing to sacrifice in the name of "security"?

In an age where cell phones are video recorders and cameras, surveillance cameras are everywhere, and the paparazzi is out to get the "best shot", is your expectation of personal privacy different in your home than out in public?

Do you agree or disagree (or otherwise comment) with the statement that some make on the subject: "Well, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about [if the government enters your home without your knowledge to conduct a search]."

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Comments {32}


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from: mayorbrotherdan
date: Dec. 30th, 2005 04:38 pm (UTC)

I think this article makes a lot of good points. The idea that the NSA can initiate surveillence of any American with nothing more than presidential approval is pretty scary. Bush claims that he is being responsible by periodically briefing a few members of congress about the existence of this program. But he is not asking these congress-people for permission to spy on individuals. He is not presenting evidence the way he would have to before a FISA court, before he would be granted a warrent.

Anyone that thinks that violations of privacy are inconsequential should examine the behavior of the FBI under Hoover, and the executive branch under Nixon. They kept extensive files and detailed records of non-violent war protesters and civil rights activists through the fifties, sixties and seventies. They used the information they gathered to try to blackmail people like Martin Luther King amongst others, and suggested to these people that they should commit suicide.

The government has to use wiretaps and electronic surveillence to protect the American people. In this day and age there are too many high tech tools that foreign governments and potential terrorists could use to plan attacks against us. But there has to be judicial oversight of government spying. A congressional act giving Bush the power to wage a war against terrorism does not grant unlimited executive power. In fact it should grant no power at all, as terrorism is a technique, rather than a group of people or an entity with which we could wage war.

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from: oxnardbrian
date: Dec. 30th, 2005 08:17 pm (UTC)

I just find it interesting that Nixon was impeached for surveillance of his enemies, but now it is seen as almost "okay" or even "commendable."

There are checks and balances to the system for this very reason. I don't think that war should change the very simple expectation of civilians that they will retain their privacy.

I also am forced to think about the age of McCarthyism and how people who were even remotely suspected to be "Communist" or un-American were blackballed and disgraced. I see this as happening very similarly with people that are being seen as "un-patriotic" to the United States.

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