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The PATRIOT Act: The Actual Terror Plot

​The PATRIOT Act promises national security and was built to specifically seek out just that by preventing further attacks from the enemies of the United States of America. Safety sure does sound good doesn't it? Especially after an unforeseen event like 9/11. But what the PATRIOT Act is, is in fact, a mystery to most of the citizens of this nation. What does the act entail exactly? What are the specifics? Are we being taken advantage of? Hey, I did't even know about the PATRIOT Act until we discussed it in class to tell you the truth. But I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one oblivious to what the government has put in place for us. Heck, who isn't?

The PATRIOT Act leaves many in the dark since it was truly an emotional response rather than an appropriately weighted idea. I get it though. 9/11 was definitely a big hit to the US and threatened national safety for years to come. But like any other emotional response, it wasn't thought through. It was an act of fear, and fear breeds repression. Instead of actually seeking out potential threats of this country, we instead, turn on our own citizens and view them as potential threats. That doesn't sound like safety to me. Instead it is another additional fear that has been placed in society by the government. 

It says a lot about our society when even the most (we would like to think) level-headed officials and politicians are deterred when it comes to important decision making. Like I have stated before: yes, 9/11 was a big hit. But if our nation's leaders, the people who we depend on for the well being of our country, can't even sit down and actually plan out the right course of action, it can't help but lead to distrust. I mean, right now as I write this, I can't help but feel like I'm being monitored by a mysterious van a block or two away from my house. I think that says a lot. To not have ease of mind when you are simply speaking your mind is ridiculous. What happened to the First Amendment? Did the PATRIOT Act ink in fine print now that says: "Unless we think you're a terrorist."? 

As much as I disagree with how the and what the PATRIOT Act stands for, it has bound to have worked on more than one occasion. I'm guessing here because, like the PATRIOT Act, it's a mystery. The government is a huge mystery to me. They give out facts and numbers on how many terror plots have been suppressed or stopped due to the PATRIOT Act. But I can't tell for sure if those are factual representations or if it's just to fluff up the PATRIOT Act so the government can still have full access to every person's life. I just don't know. If you round up all of the citizens of the United States, all their opinion will equate to "I don't know.", since we all can't even agree what the PATRIOT Act actually is or entails. I'm not willing to just give up my civil liberties, and neither is the whole population of this country. The PATRIOT Act should be revisited and tweaked to detract from infringing the rights of the people and the foundation that this country was built upon.


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Enemy of the State review

Well, the movie starts off very dramatic, setting the scene and mood with music and sudden killing. That alone establishes the government as crooked and twisted. So, just because of that I tried to think in an unbiased way and even tried to defend the actions of the government. I wanted to think in the terms that they truly set the Patriot Act for the protection and security of the American people however, I really couldn't ... good director skills. In the movie they didn't particularly cover how they handled the citizens' privacy because they only showed the extremes that one man and his team would go to cover up their own secret. I think, however, that it  clearly showed the lack of surveillance that they themselves get considering the many people they watch. I think, despite the overall movie, that the amount of access that they have is effective, they did after all locate their target, but based off of the movie there should be a more secure system of checks and balances within the agency that helps with keeping their tools for appropriate uses. Of course, appropriate referring to their keywords i.e terrorist,bomb,president as they mention in the movie. There has to be at least half of the evidence that one would need to convict someone in order to bug and surveillance to such extremes. I think there is a definitive line between using the act for personal and criminal purposes rather than for national security and that is where our freedoms end and injustice begins. 

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The (Consequences) of Our Best Ideas

The power that the Patriot Act allows the government to yield is unnecessary to achieve the means it sets out to accomplish. For example, the pieces of the law that allow agents access to library records is completely bogus. The possibility of abuse of this law is far greater than it's ability to do good. Rather than actually taking a hard look at the consequences of our best idea- being national security- pride and patriotism or shaming others for lack thereof in questioning this law has brought us to hastily procured legislation that restrict basic freedoms set in our Constitution. 

The threat lies in the fact that most common citizens, let alone the Senate or House members, don't understand its provisions whether they be positive or negative. Rather than attempt to improve international relations thus making those suspected of terrorism less inclined to hate us on principle, we relinquish our freedoms from ourselves by letting the law go as it stands now without further dissection. I believe with the amount of corruption within the government and the judicial system, individual courts or FBI agents with NSLs should not be able to pick and choose who has their Constitutional rights taken away based on suspicion like what types of books they like to read. 

I am not saying in any way that we should not investigate possible terror plots, but the current standing of the Patriot Act puts the basic everyday rights of citizens in jeopardy when they are not the ones who should be suspected of terrorism. The position of, "well if you're doing nothing wrong then it shouldn't matter, right?" grinds my gears especially. So basically, you're not religious so you shouldn't have the right to practice any religion you want anyway. We all think you're guilty, so you don't need a fair trial anyway, right? 

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The patriot act

The Patriot Act will remain a controversial issue for the days, months, and years ahead. The Patriot Act is looking to stop terrorists and make our country safer. We as people have safety concerns everyday and there's always a risk of getting hurt in some way. In the NYtimes article they say that although the threats from Al Queda have diminished that the Patriot Act is still necessary to protect the people from possible threats. It also said that the Act isn't only for terrorists and and Al Queda, but ordinary criminals that affect our everyday lives. The tracking of communications is what throws me off. But thinking about it logically if you aren't doing anything wrong, then there shouldnt be a problem with someone tracking your calls right? Yes that is a complete invasion of ones privacy but in the long-run it could be helpful to stop henious crimes. In my opinion this ACT should remain a law. It's helped us and who knows what's going to happen next it could be very prominent in the future. 
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Patriot Act

After reading the different essays in the forum about the Patriot Act, it's obviously clear that there is a number of people that agree and disagree with the provisions of this act. It causes quite a swarm of debate about whether or not we still need it, and whether or not it's useful today. The safety of the citizens in this country is the main concern. That is all that the government is trying to accomplish with this act.


It's important to note, that this act does not just focus on international terrorists, but also terrorists within our own country. The act does not focus on "innocent" Americans, so no one should be too worried about being "spied" on, unless they're doing something they shouldn't. Basically, the government won't waste their time spying on anyone that does not need to be watched. They focus on people that have the potential to harm others. 


Due to the rise of technology, and more resources available for people to purchase (legally, and illegally), I believe that the act should still be a law. The security, and safety of the citizens should never be compromised, and should continue to be the highest priority for this government. Although some may be unaware, this act has actually stopped more than 30 terror plots. So, while some may think this is wrong, and unjust, it's better to think about how this has helped, rather than how it hurts. 

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Room for Debate

The reason behind the PATRIOT ACT being established was due to terrorist attacks that had occurred on September 11, 2011. To be cautious for the wellness of our nation, is to have the PATRIOT ACT alive today.
The PATRIOT ACT is not only being used for terrorists but for the typical criminal. Though, it shouldn't be used to spy on innocent Americans. For the government to be able to see every move you make when ever they feel the need to "check on you" is a little too much. But also, Americans should take in consideration the benefit of the doubt. Images and actions can fool you. 
It's the government using common sense. If the nation loses its security, then it should be allowed to maintain surveillance. Although today their may not be terrorist attacks as serious as the 9/11 attacks,  America needs the PATRIOT ACT-or at least some portions of it- in order to secure American's safety. 
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It's Time for Reform

The USA PATRIOT Act has been at the forefront of our national security debate since it was passed after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. This legislation sped through both the House of Representatives and the Senate with little debate in an overwhelming feat of bipartisan cooperation. The PATRIOT Act gives increased power to law enforcement agencies to combat terrorism at the expense of some of our civil liberties. One question that should be asked eleven years after the 9/11 attacks is-What parts of the PATRIOT Act do we actually need?

This act is credited with thwarting dozens of terrorist attacks since its introduction. The PATRIOT Act helped to further modernize our anti-terrorism laws and capabilities in the wake of increased worldwide technology usage. An example of this is Title III of the legislation. This provision seeks to prevent terrorist groups from receiving funding by requiring banks to monitor for money laundering. It is so easy in this modern world for anyone to donate money to a cause, and some people choose to support terrorists. Title IX is arguably the most logical clause of the PATRIOT Act since it promotes the sharing of essential intelligence between government agencies. The 2001 attacks could have been prevented if the NSA had passed on known information about the activities of the bombers to other law enforcement agencies such as the FBI. There are many other similar provisions of this act that helps to keep America safe, but at the same time, other provisions infringe on our civil liberties.

The PATRIOT Act infringes on people’s right to privacy through covert wiretapping and surveillance. In light of this, it is also important to note that this infringement is necessary in order to protect the larger population. Covert surveillance is often needed to monitor and apprehend suspected terrorists. The right to privacy is one of our civil liberties that we have to sacrifice in the name of security. We need to realize that we cannot have our cake and eat it too.

There are other provisions of the this law that goes too far. The PATRIOT Act gives the government the power to detain terrorist suspects without charges and deny them access to lawyers and the due process of the law. These parts of the law infringes upon the rights are guaranteed under the Constitution. These rights are definitely more important than national security and should not be sacrificed. This is some of the language that should be removed from the PATRIOT Act.

The USA PATRIOT Act should be reformed to respect rights that are guaranteed to us under the Constitution. Many provisions of this act helps to protect the United States from terrorist attacks like 9/11 and should be kept in place. It is never acceptable to sacrifice our constitutional rights in order to protect against terrorists.
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Patriot Act Response

The Patriot Act causes quite an amount of debate that questions the priority of national security over the privacy of the American people. While keeping the country safe from terrorists should be a top priority, many people feel uncomfortable that the people that are keeping them safe, are the same ones that could potentially bug their houses.

Honestly, I don't believe that the average American would enjoy being spied on, yet the Patriot Act justifies it by mentioning that it'll pick out all the bad apples from our populous. But how? Under what assumption? Sure, there are judges to go through. Agents themselves are also required to provide reasonable evidence before any “bugging” can begin. Surely, we can trust our fellow government workers to decide who gets to be followed and who doesn't. Can we not?

Before freaking out and checking your walls for microphones, cameras and other things of the sort, let's understand what kind of people are the ones being tracked. Who the Patriot Act follows isn't common people like you and I. The average American isn't going to be followed, regardless of ethnicity, gender, or religion. Tourists, suspects, and other people that are actively moving in and out of the country are possible victims of the Patriot Act. The law is dedicated to keeping surveillance over sketchy and dishonest characters, and preventing them from possibly committing a dangerous crime that could breach the security of this country.

My personal opinion on the matter is that we still need the Patriot Act. I don't agree with the out government spying on people, especially using suspicion as a way to track down potential terrorists. But, like any good parent that wants the best for their children, they'll do what is necessary to protect their children (let's hope). Citizens of this country shouldn't be alarmed, this so-called “spying” isn't anything new. It has been going on for years. And as long as you feel comfortable living the life you currently are living, I'd say don't worry about the government or the Patriot Act. It's for the best.

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Trosario- Room for Debate

Though this assignment I have read both sides of the argument for and against the Patriot Act, and have tried to express my ideas on this concept without bias.

The Patriot Act was made to aid the keeping of US citizens safe form terrorist. The Act was created after the incident of Sept. 11. In a high state of fear the bill was passed and made into law with in four days, rather than the many months that is common for passing a bill.

The Patriot Act gives federal offices such as the NSA and FBI authority to track and intercept communication. Such tactics can be used to investigate for law enforcement and foreign intelligence.

While reading the four articles that were assigned I saw a trend building. “Technology has advanced. Defensive technologies have not kept up,” wrote Eric Posner- (There’s still a need).

Also on the side for the Patriot Act was Nathan A. Sales (A vital weapon). He stressed the point that the tools used for the interceptions were similar, if not the same, tools that police officers have used for decades. Sales went on to explain that NSA agents are required to receive permission and a warrant from a Judge.

These are important factors, and necessary in the apprehension of criminals, but when is there a crossing of the morality line?

Jeffrey Rosen’s article ‘Too much power’ caught my eye with one of his quotes. “Reported in 2007 by the Inspector General of the Justice Department. ‘Widespread and serious abused’ of the authority by the FBI under the patriot act”.

But the point that most intrigued me was that of Susan N. Herman (Too many needless provision ‘Section 215’)

Herman’s main argument was that against the Patriot Act. One incident she quotes was that of an NSA agent requesting the records of a civilian’s library checkouts.

How does the library check outs of one civilian show that they may or may not have terroristic plots? Should US citizens now be afraid to do research or write a book report in a free country? Also how is it fair for people unlike anyone else to have more power than others?

NSA agents have the power to simply give one reason to a judge for the investigation of a civilian and their claim can be granted as justified. If all humans are equal then such power should not be given. I am not against foiling terroristic plots, but I believe that is not proactive to give such power and responsibilities to ordinary people who could be our neighbors. 

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Blog Post 1: Enemy of the State

The way I felt about the movie, as the beginning started I didn't think that some people in the government and congress would do something as shady as what happened to Phillip Hammersley. It made me think about how the government can turn on one another. It also made me feel that it would turn on the people in the country. The government only let the people hear what they want to hear. 

The government in the film is portrayed as shady,insane, and not trusted. In the beginning when Phillip Hammersley video of him being killed was revealed because the government was tapping the guy phone that switched the tape at the murder scene. This made me feel that the government does not care about people privacies. Looking closely at the movie when they were tapping the guy phone that had the video of Phillip Hammersley death, they were tapping his phone line and computer for their own safety. This makes me feel that some people in the government only does things to protect themselves and not that people. 

The government should not tap phone lines, computers, or anything that has to do with people privacies. I do believe they should tap phone lines if they desperately believe that it is an attack on America or something suspicious. National Security as went up since 9/11 and other attacks that succeeded. This mean that the government needs to take action on the bigger things. Tapping phones is not the only way people connect. Computers aren't the only way. If that is the case, are they going to start checking our mail that comes to our homes? Our facebooks,or twitters? People are getting more clever as the years go by. They know the government expects so they do the unexpected. Such as 9/11.

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Room For Debate

After reading all the different sides of why we still need and don't need the PATRIOT Act i believe that we don't need it anymore. When 9/11 occurred the PATRIOT Act was a something to reassure something like that wouldn't happen again, and during the time it was needed. In the "Too much power" argument someone commented about the way the government uses the power that comes with the PATRIOT Act. That comment really stuck with me and gave me a different point of view in the situation because the idea behind the Act is great but the government won't follow through with what it's original purpose is.  It allows the government to have way more power then they actually should, they would be able to control anything and anyone but more importantly this would make it much easier for them to cover up their own lies when ever they want. Giving them that ability should be the last thing that we do. The Act should stay in place but the government should not have the highest say in how it's used or what its used for. I agree with the beginning of "Vital weapon" because  it's true the way that a police officer would use the access to things is much different then the way that the government will and its much less extreme. 

Terrorism is something that should defiantly be taken very seriously but the argument of it  and allowing the government to be able to control things is kind of the same. The government would be something that we all look up to create a better environment for us but they would be making it worse with using that power in ways that they shouldn't.Therefor the PATRIOT Act should only be used in terms of terrorism. 

Individuals privacy being exposed is something that would change the way that we live our normal every day lives and "protection" to our country and people should never get to that extent. Our rights wouldn't even apply in any way if it got to this point and bottom line is that we wouldn't be the same "America"  that stands up for their own and stand next to each other as equals. With all the things that going on in our economy we don't need to add something that would make individuals lives harder to live. 

We still need the PATRIOT Act but only if the government doesn't end up being the one in control of it. It should be used to to help us not hurt us, not to cover up lies, but to uncover them and help us. If we keep the PATRIOT Act then it should go through everyone such as the FBI, CIA, then finally the government can look at would it's being used for but can't say whether it should be used for something else or in a different way. 

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Enemy Of State

​The way the government is portrayed in this film is very sneaky, stalker-ish and selfish as well. They have access to a lot of information and they go to the extreme to get information but that's only when they're the ones who really need it. This film made me fear for my own privacy beings though how this film showed how an individual citizens' privacy is not respected what so ever. I find the amount of power and accessibility the government has to be disturbing having the satellite cameras the most disturbing aspect about it.The things the NSA agents were doing such as putting video cameras around Robert's house and bugs in some of his items to follow him and tapping into the other guy's phone calls seemed a bit extreme. I believe the level of access the government should have to citizens' personal info is the amount that the citizens allow them to have. I don't believe the government has the right to access someone's personal information without their consent. Individuals' freedoms can/should be restricted for safety of community when their dealing with a real criminal, not just save themselves for trouble. This films makes me think of what else could the government be possible hiding from Americans. 
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enemy of the state

1)How the government is portrayed in this film?
In this movie, the government is portrayed like an agency who can do everything. He has  equipment such as satellites that can identify people. he has agents, spy, computer specialists etc...The NSA do part of the government.But we can see that NSA can control the government. whether the NSA decided to discredit someone, the government follow the NSA. 

2)How individual citizen`s privacy is respected?

The privacy is respected in some way for the government guard these data to him, they are not disclosed. But for exemple the NSA know everything on we.

​3) Your opinion on level of access the government should have to your personal info
I think that the government needs to have information on the population of his state.
He needs it for the protection of his population. To know who has a job. To know who don`t have a job. to follow the increase of the population. To know how many children have families. With that the government can do something for help the population if she needs help.
But if the government use surveillance camcorder for to know personal info on his population. if he use spy, if he use agency for to know your private informations. The government has a database of the public private data. And these data can to be hackers. In more, the government can break articles of the constitution of universal human rights.
You can`t say a secret if you don`t  know this secret.

4)When individual freedoms can/should be restricted for safety of community?
the individual freedoms must be restrict when individual`s no longer recognizes the limitations of these libertees established by the constitution of the rights of the man. Eg personal injury. Like says one article of the constitution:
Freedom is to be able to do anything that does not harm others: thus the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of these same rights. These limits can only be determined by law
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Enemy of the state

In this movie I found the things that occurred on the governments behalf not to be surprising at all. The American government keeps major things from us that go against all of our rights as citizens. I don’t know who determines the definition of the terms “safety”, “protect” and “citizen” and what it means to the government of the United States. It is appalling to me that the “citizens” we are “protecting” had no idea that devices used and created for terrorist could at any moment be them.

In the movie Dean played by Will Smith kept repeating that he had no idea what was going on and why it was happening. In the scene when he meets up with the real Brill his ignorance as a citizen shows also when him and his wife are in the kitchen and she emphasizes how important it is for us to know about the changes that are made and how our privacy might be on the line. That is the issue with Americans they don’t follow up on current government changes and they don’t ask questions when there is confusion with a bill or law.

This movie was created well before the 9-11 attack, which says a lot. In movies I realized that if it is in a film already and it involves sensitive information about how the government operates. The government is way past the technology they use to “detect terrorists”. I do not agree with the government having access to cutting my phone lines, tapping into my phone and freezing my accounts. In the movie and reality the public should be more aware of the governments gadgets and when it is happening to them. Overall the thought of someone constantly watching you is here and always has been. I have every doubt that the government does not know the definition of acceptable and enough evidence to investigate someone. To be frank we are all being investigated and watched. I wouldn't be surprised if I got locked up for my Anti American views they might think that is enough evidence to wreck my home and ruin my life just like in the movie. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            

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Blog Post #1: Enemy of the State

The government, or more specifically the NSA, was like a ticking time bomb waiting to happen. Reynolds & Co. were thoroughly trying to make Bobby's life a living hell: forcing him into a corner, prodding him with a stick until he had to eventually give. They were ruthless in their descent into madness. That oddly convenient   video tape tossed them over the end. They got sloppy, gullible which, lead to a slip-up that they would not be able to drag themselves from.

As for privacy rights, they were totally violated. Will Smith's character was battered, bugged and broke within a matter of days. This has the gears in my head churning; after all, if they supposedly (putting into perspective the dramatization of it being a Hollywood blockbuster, of course) had this level of technology back when I was merely three years, I have to wonder: what in the world does the government have stashed in their back pocket today?

Granted national security is a thing however, I would hope the government does not stick its nose where it is not needed. If they could narrow down the suspects inside branding every possibility as a terrorist attack waiting to strike, I could concede. As it stands, there is a reason why it is called personal information. Citizens do not want others to have access to their dirty little secrets and I, personally, find almost un-American for people, even the government, to be snooping through a person's laundry.

Though this might seem somewhat stupid, the government might be better off waiting instead basing things on a preemptive course of action. Although, it would make sense if someone, somewhere that have found a trend, a pattern that places the extremists on one boat. A method to pinpoint the crazy and leave the normals to their own devices. If all the fingers point to a person, that would be the only time freedom can be restricted. Then and only then, will the government actions suffice.

Annisa Ahmed
B Band
9.14.12

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Rugeiatu Bah

The Government is portrayed as sneaky and un-trust worthy, they broke into the man who witness the murder and had the chip his house looking for something they wanted or needed. Running into people's homes putting in cameras and mica to spy on them with out getting a warrant or with out them knowing.That's betraying the people of the town or State. No matter where you are in your house or what you're doing, the Government would run in your house to get what they are looking for. In the Movie, Enemy Of States, when they chased Will Smith throw the Hotel rooms, they didn't felt bad or said sorry to the residents that were staying there. Some people were disrespected in their homes due to their not having privacy in their own homes. I feel as thought I don't think they have the right to enter your personal life info period, due to the fact that they would advantage and considering what they did just because they killed someone . They could do more then that to other other for some major or mayor.Individual freedoms should be restricted for safety of community when someone feel as though the Government has more information on them and they don't have enough on the Government. Also, when the safety  of the community is at risk no because it’s unconstitutional to do that people have the right to know what is going in other communities. 

 


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enemy of the state

1)How the government is portrayed in this film?
In this movie, the government is portrayed like an agency who can do everything. He has  equipment such as satellites that can identify people. he has agents, spy, computer specialists etc...The NSA do part of the government.But we can see that NSA can control the government. whether the NSA decided to discredit someone, the government follow the NSA. 

2)How individual citizen`s privacy is respected?

The privacy is respected in some way for the government guard these data to him, they are not disclosed. But for exemple the NSA know everything on we.

​3) Your opinion on level of access the government should have to your personal info
I think that the government needs to have information on the population of his state.
He needs it for the protection of his population. To know who has a job. To know who don`t have a job. to follow the increase of the population. To know how many children have families. With that the government can do something for help the population if she needs help.
But if the government use surveillance camcorder for to know personal info on his population. if he use spy, if he use agency for to know your private informations. The government has a database of the public private data. And these data can to be hackers. In more, the government can break articles of the constitution of universal human rights.
You can`t say a secret if you don`t  know this secret.

4)When individual freedoms can/should be restricted for safety of community?
the individual freedoms must be restrict when individual`s no longer recognizes the limitations of these libertees established by the constitution of the rights of the man. Eg personal injury. Like says one article of the constitution:
Freedom is to be able to do anything that does not harm others: thus the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of these same rights. These limits can only be determined by law
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Enemy Of The State

Thoughts on the film
Prior to this film, I had very little knowledge that the government could actually access anyone’s information without them knowing, I thought it was illegal. I definitely learned a lot, but I also felt very uncomfortable knowing how easily the NSA could get access to any information they seek.

How the government is portrayed in the film
The film portrays the government in an extremely bad light. I found it interesting that the movie started with an NSA official murdering a congressman to guarantee the bill’s enactment. Right off the bat, the viewers see that the government as a whole is an antagonist. Obviously, I don’t think that in real life, situations shown in the film would actually happen. I also believe that all of the evilness that’s happening in the film is exaggerated to make a good story.

How individual citizens' privacy is respected
The National Security Agency did not respect anyone’s privacy in this movie. Especially in the scene where they put cameras in Will Smith’s house and try to cover it up by destroying and vandalizing every inch of the house, even the dog! The respect for privacy in this film was nonexistent, but as I said before, situations in this film were unrealistically magnified.

Your opinion on level of access the govt should have to your personal info
If they can access any information they want about me, which I believe the can do, I can’t do anything about it. It’s the government’s responsibility to protect us citizens from terrorists and other dangers but I believe that they should have a restricted access to anyone’s information.

When individual freedoms can/should be restricted for safety of community
Obviously, I don’t think that individual freedoms should ever be restricted; however if an individual continuously abuse their freedom to the point that it’s not safe to the community anymore, then it should be restricted.

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Enemy of the state

In the movie enemy of the state the goverment isn't really portrayed as good or bad it is more of the nsa being shown as this monster with to much power.  They use there power to kill off or try and kill off any one who gets in there way of trying to get the "bill" aka patriot act passed. In this movie if the nsa thinks that an individuals is up to something they have no privacy at all.  From cameras being put in there smoke alarms to there air vents to mics in clothing every movie and sound they make the goverment will know about it.  It is scary to think about that you are not even alone in you own home. I think that the goverment should have some kind of accesses but no where near the accesses that they have in this movie.  But I don't think that the people in the movie where aloud to have that kind of accesses the reason being during the meeting when there is a mic found in the hotel room the guy talking says something like when i find out who did this they wont have a job something was said along those line.  I don't think that our freedom should ever have restrictions at all.  
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CSheridan; Enemy of the State Blog Post #1

Cyndi Lynn Sheridan

American Government - D

September 14, 2012


Enemy of the State:


Throughout the film Enemy of the State, the government is portrayed as being very cynical and abusers of the system. I never knew that the government had the power to view all your phone calls, text messages, and emails. This is known as invasion of privacy which I thought was completely not allowed, unless given permission by a judge or the person was convicted of a crime. It is scary to think that one day we are going to live in a society where everything we do is recorded, and it makes me scared to even live my life. I should definitely not feel this way considering our country is known to be full of freedom and liberty. 

It was a disgrace watching such an important agency (NSA) use their power for personal purposes. A large amount of the things done in this movie were done illegally such as the installment of cameras/microphones in Will Smith’s attire. Every conversation Will Smith had with someone was observed and recorded by the NSA, just so they were able to save themselves from massive destruction. This is definitely unacceptable and makes me wonder if officials ever listened to conversations I had with my family/friends. Obviously it makes a difference if I am suspected to be a terrorist, but then again anything is possible. Although the PATRIOT Act is definitely a controversial issue, there are some things that definitely need to be altered, such as section 215. I learned that the government is allowed to seize “any tangible thing without a warrant from emails to browsing histories to library records.” This defeats the purpose of privacy, however I think in cases where terrorism is expected then having the ability to just go through someones personal records is necessary. I think it’s difficult to find a balance between the security of a country and the privacy of the citizens. In my opinion, I feel like the government realizes what happened without the Patriot Act, which is 9/11, so they want to take as much precaution as possible no matter what the circumstances. Honestly all I care about is my safety, privacy comes second.

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9/11 Video Response

The film about the teacher trying to explain the significance of 9/11 to a class of refugee children resinated most with me. Because we first watched the film without subtitles, it was difficult to figure out. There seemed to be a lot of set up to create a full picture of the world that these people were living in. The beginning scenes where the children were making bricks for what I assumed to be houses, were adorable. At first, I thought that the teacher was trying to get the children to recognize that some short time ago 9/11 occurred, but she was unsuccessful because the children were too wrapped up in their own small world. I thought that the message of the film could possibly be that in some parts of the world, the impact of 9/11 was not felt and that it is simply impossible to make someone else truly understand and feel another's pain.

Later, when we watched the film with subtiles I realized that my thinking was somewhat on the right track, but I found a completely different messages. While the adorable children were making bricks for a bomb shelter they were having conversations about death as if it were ritual in daily life. The children's comfortably with death shocked, and even bothered me. What types of circumstances desensitize children to death? When the teacher finally rallies the children for class and is attempting to explain to them that they will have a moment of silence for those who died in 9/11, one girl says that God does not have airplanes so he couldn't have destroyed those people. Other students respond by mentioning other ways that people have died and all of them except one (flood) are man made. This then made me think about the difference of God's power and the power that man posses. Are they different?  
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Enemy of the State

​I think that this movie shoes a dramatic version of how power and access can easily be abused by having access into the personal lives of all Americans. It doesnt seem like there is much regulation on the use of these governmental "tools" which I think allows them to be easily misused. It also seems as though approval for use of the tools is given away without much consideration or back checking. The character played by John Voight was able to get approval to follow the man with the video by only making a simple call. If this is how the system really works it is incredibly flawed.
The government is not portrayed very well and the movie is very biased. While Im sure there are governmental workers who do abuse this tool I also think that there are tons who do use it correctly and as a way to better society. If this tool were to be used as intended then yes, it would be a great resource to prevent terrorism and stop senseless acts of hate, but I think that it also has the ability to be misused and abused. 
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Define Privacy

While watching "Enemy of the State" I probably shook my head so many times that I will probably have a whiplash. The government was portrayed so bad in this movie. I'm not going to generalize but I'm just going to say that SOMEONE and his group of minions were using their power in such a bad manner. First of all, the villain killed someone in the government. I mean I don't think this happen in real life, and I hope not, but to go to the extend of killing someone just because they didn't agree to the things that he wanted him to do is just plain wrong. The second part was trying to kill another person who holds the information to spill the bad deed that he did. Well, it's not their fault that the guy died but they were the reason why he died. They used their power on people and used technology in a bad way that invaded people's privacy. 


When talking about privacy, the plot of this movie has none. The people in the movie does not respect the privacy of other people. There was a part where they were looking at Will Smith's background with his ex-girlfriend. They looked at his bank account and even sticked their nose in his private life like his past relationship! I mean, I don't want people to know what i did back back because past is past. Also when the old crusty villain told his minions to dig some dirty deeds so that "no one will believe him before he talks". I mean, he's in the government and he's the one doing the bad things. Will is not a terrorist, just a threat to him and he's using all these things to invade his privacy! And there were no judge to ask permission to, no warrants, no whatsoever! They were even trespassing in some of the scenes! I think, the government should only know the basics information about me. Like the schools that I go to, where I live, what kind of job I have, like that. Not my bank account or past love interest. 


My only concern about this is that, what if people inside the country abuse this power. It's not going to be the terrorist but the citizens who use it for their own selfish actions. We're going to be the enemy of each other and this will be a whole different problem that we have to solve. The only question is, how can we have this power without abusing it? 

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september 11th

In general it takes some sort of personal connection for a movie to move me. I didn't have any friends of family involved in 9/11, and I had no sentimental connection to the world trade towers. So when I began to feel uncontrollable empathy for a woman who had lost her son I couldn't make the connection. I'm not muslim, I dont have children, and I'm not a minority. Then it hit me. Ive experienced losing someone. Pretty much everyone has at one point in their lives lost someone close to them and it doesn't really matter how they lost that person it still hurts. Losing someone doesn't nessicarily mean they died they could have changed or moved... but their gone. I felt empathy for the muslim woman who lost her son and I wished I could have helped her. I felt worse for her then I did for the dead son. Ive never died so its harder for me to make that connection. The film maker did a great job of not only showing the mothers pain but the entire families pain. To make things worse the community outcasted them and labeled her son a monster only to flip and then call him a hero. The use of time and emotion moved me in this film and I think the scene where she is screaming and banging on the train door "thats my son" will be something I take with me forever wherever I go.
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Enemy of the State Response

Enemy of the State Response

 

At first, Enemy of the State didn’t seem like it was going to be a movie that I liked. I don’t like politics, much less get it, so it didn’t seem appealing to me. However, when we stopped it in class it left me wanting to know more. With that, it left me thinking about the questions that we were given.

Personally, I think our government is okay. I don’t think that they should be in other people’s business when they shouldn’t be, but I can’t do anything about that. They might have good intentions, which is nice, but when they act on those intents, they may end up doing more bad than good; and its all about other people’s perspectives. In the film, the government is crazy. They’re so invasive, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get what they want done. This is all in Hollywood, so obviously its over-dramatized. Though, this is probably what our government does, I’d like to think it isn’t as drastic as this. In class I described it as, “scary.” It really is frightening to think that we are allowing other people to view our every move and observe our daily routines that are supposed to be private to us. But, you have to remember that it is a movie, and it could totally be not like that at all. (Hopefully.)

Will Smith’s character was really good. I think that when Reynolds’ men targeted him, it was meant to seem very extreme and serious. When the gang of bad guys “robbed” Dean’s house I thought that that was very clever because it just made it look like it was just a robbery, and not like the house got bugged and the lines got tapped. Even if it was clever it was still an invasion of his privacy. Not only was Reynolds invading people’s privacies, but Dean and Brill got a little snooping done on their own. In cahoots, they both were eavesdropping in on the congressman, or senator, or whatever he was. They found out his secrets, were able to blackmail him, and then get to Reynolds that way… Or at least that’s what I think happened? Also, Brill on his own did some digging on that one mob boss to give to Rachel to give to Dean to blackmail the mob guy. Afterwards, when Dean’s world went into shambles, he wanted to find out who Brill was, even though Rachel told him not to pursue it.

My opinion on the government having my personal information and having access to it is that I don’t want to introduce myself, and them to be like, “Oh, Catherine, it’s so nice to see you… How’s your little brother? Is your dad still working at the restaurant? Is your shoe size a 6.5 now?” Like, that’s creepy. I’m aware that the government has tabs on a lot of people. I’m not a criminal, not a celebrity. I’m just an average citizen so it would seem odd that they’re doing extra surveillance on an ordinary person.

If it’s an issue of a matter that involves the life or death of, like, 7 entire states, I’m pretty sure that the government should have access to certain individuals’ private lives if there are suspicions that they’re behind it. But, if it’s like a firefighter who accidentally messed up on his taxes, then no, because that pretty ridiculous. It really just depends on the circumstances of each person and on the situation.

All in all, these were my opinions on the movie Enemy of the State. I enjoyed the movie as one I would watch for entertainment, as well as to gain knowledge and insight on the Patriot Act we’re studying about in class.

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