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Liberty versus Security in Today's World Essay

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Inscribed in the stairwell of the Statue of Liberty is Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Recent reactions to terrorist attacks provide examples of our country beginning to mortgage freedom, and privacy under the mask of protection in times of crisis. Warrantless searches and seizures performed in the interest of national security are becoming more commonplace. The balance between civil liberties and national security measures remains a delicate balance which should not tip in a direction that leads to the destruction of the Fourth Amendment’s original meaning. As our nation has grown and endured crises, the scale has become unbalanced.…show more content…
United States. The trial brought to light that evidence was collected without a warrant; thus the court ruled the evidence inadmissible. This precedent, called the exclusionary rule, set a legal model for law enforcement to follow. Prior to this time there were little to no consequences for illegal search and seizure of evidence. While the Weeks Case set boundaries for law enforcement, the Federal Government broadened its power to surveil. The National Security Agency was founded in 1952 and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1972 limited its power, that is, until September 11, 2001. Upon the deaths of nearly three thousand and injury to six thousand more, the Federal government acquired additional power that it justified by their claim that increased information gathering serves in catching terrorists and prevents further attacks. The Rutherford Institute sums up the situation in this way: “While some might see the temporary necessity in such laws during a national security emergency, it must be pointed out that the war on terror has no finite duration. There will always be some form of terrorist threat to the United States.” Despite this opinion, there remains reasonable expectation that our government should not view and intrusively observe its citizens at all times. Even though the expectation of privacy for American citizens rests under the Bill of Rights, the Protect
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