The Privacy Of The Patriot Act

906 Words4 Pages
The misuse of our personal information collected by private and public institutions has made privacy, or the lack of it, a major societal concern today. One of the biggest reasons privacy has become such an issue is the enactment of the “Patriot Act”, signed into law in reaction to the attacks on 9/11/2001. This act broadened the ability for the US government to collect surveillance on people in order to protect against terrorism inside the US. Critiques say it violates our civil liberties and undermines our democracy. One example of this is the collection and storage of phone data by the government under the Patriot Act. Is this an invasion of privacy? In order to keep society safe, a certain amount of private information has to be known by Law Enforcement. In order to collect taxes and for society to function, the government also needs some information. Collecting basic information isn’t an invasion of privacy, but the collection phone data is too intrusive. Can the public trust the government to not miss-use or lose the information they have on them?
The government and major companies have frequently leaked and misused the public’s information. For example, in Ted Koppel’s 2005 article on “Take My Privacy, Please!”, he mentions how Bank of America lost personal information on about 1.2 million federal government employees, including some senators. LexisNexis unintentionally gave outsiders access to personal files on over 310,000 people. Time Warner
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