Collins' comments
by Kelly Collins

Sue Brown asks in Letters to the Editor "What freedoms have you lost?" Since I have written articles about this subject I would like to address this rhetorical question.

This needs a little set up before getting into it. First the H.S.A. (Home Security Agency) has already admitted to some abuses of the Patriot's Act. A spy satellite was just put in orbit and all we are told is that it is to combat terrorism. In other words it is a domestic issue. We are spying on our own.

The DEA was formed to fight the drug war. A lot of money, time and effort has been put into it. It has not been effective at all. Sure they stop some drugs but drugs have still found their way into our cities and into the hands of children. The H.S.A will be just about as effective as that.

The Home Security Agency is empowered to Wire Tap with out supervision, access Emails, Arrest and confine with out due process if the person or persons are considered a threat to National Security. This sounds on the up and up. If you are no threat to national security then you have nothing to worry about. WRONG. It is in their hands to define a threat to national security. Under the enhancement bill a single person can be considered a terrorist group.

Other Agencies can and do use the new process supposedly meant only for the H.S.A.

Prior to the passing of the Patriot's Act and the Enhancement bill to get a wire tap on anyone a judge had to review the evidence. Based on that a court order for a wire tap was or was not issued. Now all a law enforcement official need do is suspect one of being a threat to national security and tap the phone. There is no longer a watch dog on this.

In a case against Microsoft the Supreme Court ruled that the contents of your computer were your private property and for some one to snoop your machine was equal to breaking and entering. By 2007 all digital devices sold in America must have a police spy chip in it. This will allow the police to access your computer files. Again this is for legitimate reasons on the surface. It is to combat movie, game and music piracy. They will be able to break and enter your machine with out any watch dog agency overseeing it. So our right to privacy, our right to be secure in our homes has been breached.

To sit back and say this does not effect me, so it does not concern me, is not a healthy attitude. Look at the history of the House un-American Activities Committee. Most of the nation went on about their business while people's lives were being ruined by using and abusing the powers of congress. Right now in this country people, American citizens are being arrested with out due process, having their phones tapped with out a court order. Their personal email is being read with out a search warrant. So that shouldn't effect you right? Don't you bet on it.

The worst thing of all this is the feeling I get that our government is no longer protecting us but is attacking us.

I have talked to many people about this and the prevalent feeling is that to gain the security from terrorism they can handle the loss of rights and freedoms. Yet are we really more secure from terrorism than we were? Do you really think the war on domestic terrorism will be any more effective than the domestic war on drugs? Do you really think that you have not lost freedoms and rights?