Boys and Girls Ultimate: State Championships
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?