The Civil Liberties Of The United States Essay

1084 Words Nov 24th, 2015 null Page
Civil liberties are individual rights that are designated by law. They are legal shields that protect citizens from abuses by their own government. Historically, times of war in the United States have produced situations in which the U.S. government has given national security concerns a higher priority that protection of the public’s civil liberties (American Civil Liberties 1). Americans are losing their privacy to tens of thousands of video cameras operated by private corporations and government authorities. People are being watched when they shop, drive, attend sporting events, or simply walk down the street (Smithsimon 1). Not only are citizens being watched when they are in public, but their personal emails and phone calls are being tapped into as well. This constant surveillance creates a general uneasiness, restraints private behavior, and inhibits political speech at demonstrations. Those who promote video surveillance claim that society is safer when citizens are under observation. However, the loss of anonymity violates the right of people to be secure from unreasonable government intrusion into their private lives (Smithsimon 1). The United States responded to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks not only by restructuring and reforming the U.S. intelligence system for detecting foreign threats, but also by expanding the federal government’s surveillance powers within the United States. Just days after the 9/11 attack, on September 19, 2001, President…

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