Letters to the Editor

Fast Focus: Liberty or safety

The Bill of Rights (and 14th Amendment) provisions relating to the right of privacy basically state that you have privacy of beliefs, privacy of the home and privacy of the person and possessions. The Supreme Court has usually struck down any state that tries to supersede and limit any of these, although many other acts that Congress has passed do just the opposite in the name of national security. As Ben Franklin said "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

What goes on today and what is tolerated based solely on so-called public safety would never have been tolerated 60 years ago. The problem is the powers that be and the voices who cry the loudest slowly chip away those rights without much notice. Only looking back do you realize how much you have given up. What you have to ask is that with all the rights to privacy we have given up are we that much better as a society or actually worse?

I understand that most businesses need cameras to help prevent crime and I can accept that as these are public places. I do not think that my emails or online activity or calls that I have made should be tracked and information stored. The problem is who and what has access to that information? We should always be vigilant because all of our rights are always endangered by the current people in charge no matter what political party.

-- Chris Walthour, West Richland