Terrorism: Safety Vs Freedom Essay

2044 words - 8 pages

“The danger that darkened the United States of America and the civilized world on September 11, did not pass with the atrocities committed that day”. (Ashcroft, 2003) The terrors of 9/11 caused increased security that comes at a cost that many feel is an invasion of their charter rights. The idea of racial profiling is not new, but many feel worse than ever in today’s anti-Muslim society. This habit of losing civil liberties in the wake of terror is to some an unnecessary change that is unallowable, but leaves many wondering if we should sacrifice our freedom for safety.

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, revealed a deficiency in the procedures of the airline security system. In an effort to address these concerns the “War on Terror” (Winterdyk/king, 2010) was born. This unleashed a new style of screening processes, including Bill C-36. Bill C-36 granted the American government and security agencies the power to implement a new wave of security processes that include the ATI (Advanced Imaging Technology). The change in security technology, as well as the increased threat level, has led to the need for increased security procedures in airports. The ATI’s have been hailed the greatest advancement in security screening technology (TSA security, 2011) and 80% of the public supports the increased security measures. (TSA security, 2011) Many family members affected by 9/11 are expressing support of the pat-downs, including Carie Lemack, whose mother was killed in American Airlines flight 11. She said, “I'm glad we're not waiting for more blood to be on our hands before we take the kind of security measures we need to take”. (Lemack, 2010)

The ATI’s are imaging tools that airport security staff uses to detect bombs or weapons on passengers, revealing a nearly naked grainy image of the person. The misconception the public has of someone seeing a nude picture of them is a major point of contention for many air travelers. The hands-on pat downs are even more controversial than the scanners. This act, is consider by many, an invasion of section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which states, “Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure”. (Charter, 2011)Everyone has heard horror stories of rude “grabby” TSA agents practically groping passengers. The stories such as Elizabeth Strecker being forced to show her prosthetic breast (Colebourn, 2011) are widely spread throughout the media, and the TSA becomes a monster accused of harassing the public. These aggressive pat downs have sparked a string of media websites asking people to protest the scanners and refuse to participate. One example of the viral effects of media is John Tyner, the man responsible for the “Don’t touch my junk” video, who is probably not the first person that has felt violated during an airport screening search. Tyner, who left the airport after refusing the pat down, was charged and counter-sued for $11,000 for leaving after...

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