Government Response to Terrorism and Civil Liberties

Government Response to Terrorism and Civil Liberties


Terrorism in an intended use violence against noncombatant with an aim to obtain goals that are political, religious or other violence disturbances in nature. The USA FBI defines terrorism as illegal use of force. Terrorist attack is done through harassment, installation of fear, coups, nuclear attacks and other unexpected attacks. To counter terrorist acts, the FBI investigation is given the first priority by the citizens and the government. However, terrorism is heightening and has come to everyone’s attention and should be mitigated.

Homeland security and civil liberties

Is there a point of equilibrium between homeland security (state security) and maintaining the basic civil liberties guaranteed by the U.S constitution? This question helps you to think on the relationship between state security and civil liberties. It can be persuasively argued that surrendering individual rights make the citizens less free rather than securing them against terrorism. The USA Patriot act composes extensive surveillance strategies. That is, it allows the FBI and other government investigative organs to track internet usage and to obtain the financial statements, business records and educational records. The act has helped to eliminate hindrances resulting from privacy rights that prevent or delay the investigations. The USA Patriot Act allows the FBI to access and monitor communication and communication records. These powers are exercised without citizen’s consent or warrant. The act shows the level to which the surveillance measures can disrupt the current equilibrium between homeland security and civil liberties.

According to the recent research, there is no balance between the homeland security and civil liberties. The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) demands a reexamination of the equilibrium between the civil liberties and the state security in order to achieve its dual objectives of preventing prevailing attacks and maintaining the devotion to the US constitution. The strained relations between national security and civil liberties is more complicated with the immigration policy separation of powers, criminal law, and privacy among others. Recently, the current USA president Donald Trump banned gun ownership which has been causing many deaths. Initially, individuals were legally allowed to own a gun for personal defense matters. In this scenario, the national security seems to be in balance with civil liberty since innocent lives are protected and saved. However, Americans are not ready to sacrifice their civil liberties. They say that they aid in interaction.

The security issues will outperform the freedom of US citizens. Already, privacy is no more since the communication details can be accessed by the investigative organizations. In 2016, US president, Donald Trump, passed the immigration law which will affect every citizen directly or indirectly. Freedom of movement is a global human right. Nonetheless, in United States of America, movement is restrained by the immigration Act of 2016. Moreover, other restrictions will continue to arise with an aim of “securing my Nation”.

Role of Patriot Act in establishing the use of fusion centers across the country

National Security Agencies (NSA) raise warrantless, illegally-fetched data to law-enforcement organs for their investigations. They are able to give the information through fusion centers and “special operation forums”. Fusion centers are places where the data is collected, illegal or legal by the federal agencies such as Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and NSA among others. Later, the information is given out to the law-enforcement agencies for their criminal investigations. The Fusion centers were set up after 9/11. The Patriot Act eliminated impediments that hindered the intelligence agencies from sharing information with law enforcement agencies. The Act enhanced communication between agencies hence decisions were made easily to prevent terrorism targets. However, this practice is abused and applied on the American population instead of terror suspects only.

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