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Harlan Institute » Criminal Justice Badge
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Balancing Civil Liberties and National Security

November 28th, 2012

We agree that more national security is needed to help prevent another terrorist attack. The government should not be able to over use the new provisions, they still have to respect our privacy.
Sec. 215 allows easier access to business records in foreign intelligence investigations. This has positives and negatives. It makes it easier for the U.S. to detect terrorist attacks, but this could also be used against innocent patrons.
Sec. 213 allows “sneak and peek” search warrants, which let authorities search a home or business without immediately notifying the target of a probe. There are also pros and cons to this. This can allow authorities to search the property of drug dealers and other criminals without notice and seize illegal things. This is good, but these act are supposed to help prevent terror crimes, not just try to take out random criminals.
We think that these provisions adequately balance the need to protect civil liberties against the need for robust in national security. Yes there is an appropriate balance between national security and civil liberties. However we need to make sure that the balance continues. I don’t think that the balance shift during wartime unless there has been a threat made on the United States during war. We think that the PATRIOT Act is a good thing but we need to make sure that we keep it balanced between national security and civil liberties. We don’t need the national security to interfere big time in our civil liberties or the other way around.