This movie pretty much puts the government in a bad way. Or at least a team of rogue NSA agents. They could do just about anything they wanted or get anything they wanted. Their SSN, finical records, credit cards, address etc, seemed to be easy access with out needing a warrant. There is no privacy for citizens in this movie, or respect for it because if these people want to do it they can. The government shouldn't have this so easy access to all this information, there should be some balance to their power. There is some law maker that is trying to get this bill passed, and the scary thing is its recent. Privacies should be respected until suspicious circumstances. Just like warrants to search your house, etc, they don't have that for a lot of things online.
In order to have security, while maintaing liberty, we first need to get rid of complete titles in the Patriot Act, such as Title V. Title V is mainly the use of NSL's (National Security Letters). NSL's stipulate the release of information and other documents that has even the most remote thing to do with persons under investigations. But this does not only apply to terrorists, it can also be used against U.S. citizens. These letters can also implement gag orders, that can prevent people from speaking about this. Another Title that can be removed is Title X. Title X is full of unnecessary, miscellaneous provisions that can be removed without having any negative effect on the law as a whole.
Furthermore certain titles while overall good, still have parts to them that infringe upon our rights. Title I is one of said titles. Title I is in the law to protect civil liberties, but it also allows the president to seize any foreign persons (including foreign citizens) assets if said person is suspected to be (with or without evidence) involved in a terror plot, or has conspired to harm the United State. This is all done in secret without said persons knowledge until said seizure has begun, or has happened. Also Title II which involves wire taps and such, it also has delayed notification warrants. Delayed notification warrants, allow law enforcement to search a persons how with out them being notified until after the search is complete. This goes for terrorists as well as United States citizens as well, therefore both should be taken out of the Patriot Act.
I do believe that this law is very much needed, terrorism is still a threat and needs to be prevented as soon as possible, that don't infract citizens rights. And with these changes, the law that was meant to help protect us from terrorist will do just that, with out violating any United States citizens rights.
The government basically can do what they please. Listen to calls, check. Videotape everything, check. Kill people and (try to) cover it up, check. Pretty much wreak havoc to get the intended target, check. They are ruthless and perverse.
Individual privacy is not respected whatsoever. There is not a rock unturned, because they all have wiretaps under them now. I especially liked the part when Dean and the real Brill put the camera and taps in the politicians home/office. It really brought it home that privacy is non-existent and not just by means of the government. These non-government people are able to take advantage of the videotaping to use as incriminating blackmail.
I understand the dramatizations in the movie, but what concerned me most was the lack of procedure. When Reynolds gave the order, someone was going down. There as no question of authority let alone necessity. They were willing to go to any means necessary to dispose of the tape.
I'm conflicted as to whether anyone should have their privacy restricted. There is such a thin line between doing this to a few suspected people versus anyone and everyone. The problem with letting this happen would be that in order to cut down on corruption and bad judgement a lot of people would have to be involved in this. The more people know they less of a "secret undercover" operation it would be maybe making it less effective.
Who would have the ultimate authority to choose who gets followed and who does not? I don't believe any one person should have that God-like power.
Honestly, I can't fathom the idea of the government really working like this and directing their attention to smaller issues that was created by their own sloppiness. I have no problem with the government trying to seriously protect their country and their people in their organizations but harassing a citizen without evidence is completely out of line. If you look back at the film remember that the NSA really did have no idea if Robert had the device/video on him. But they continued to harass him although they had no idea if he had the video or not.
This movie brought me back to what we learned about the PATRIOT act. At first I was all for the law but then after learning about it during class, then watching this movie I feel like America is slowly turning into a country under the influence of a dictator. Almost like how China's government is, who basically monitors everything their citizens do. I don't want to live in a country where I can't live the way I want with the government OR the people around thinking there's a double meaning to my actions. I do understand that it is vital that people with suspicious actions should be monitored but only if there is more than an accusation and more evidence. There is a fine line between crossing an American citizens rights and keeping the country safe, and that line has been crossed when they passed the PATRIOT act.
I already knew about how the government already has the technology and power to keep tabs on whoever they feel needed to be monitored. But actually seeing how they operate is scary. Michael Westen (Burn Notice) definitely makes it look easy. I can't help but feel a little more paranoid than I was before watching the movie. The way that the people that you are suppose to trust and depend on will break in your house and turn against you in the slightest moment is ridiculous. The one question that lingered in my mind throughout the entire movie was: How much freedom are we willing to give up in the name of safety? It reminded me of prison in a sense where everyone is monitored, whether you like it or not.
In the film, they focused more on the bad egg of the government. It really brought home the idea that in the wrong hands, the surveillance technology available can be used against us. And in a way, it seems that the film is saying that anyone in the government has the ability to cause harm with said surveillance technology. I understand the concept of safety (especially national saftey), but how much is too much? There should be a limit on how much access of information someone has on you. Because if not, do we actually have "freedom?"
First off, let me just say, I don't mind the government protecting their country. That is one awesome thing, but I don't think that it's right for them to invade in a innocent citizen or permanent resident. I'm not a considered a citizen, but I am a permanent resident and I'm already going through a lot with the United State alone, so imagine someone else. What if I was from Afghanistan or something, would they accuse me of being a terrorist right off the bat? Probably would. That's what you call discrimination. I don't think the voting members really thought about anything when the bill came across. They were just doing this because the attack was very hurtful. Yeah, they thought about their country, but they didn't think about other innocent souls from the third world.The main purpose of this act was for the government to spy on American, which in this case is used through technology. In this link, it talked about how most Americans thinks that is this bill is about catching the predator, but in reality, it's about them. I think that the Patriot Act is good for criminals and ACTUAL terrorists, but if they're using their "tools" on innocent people, then I don't agree. When I was watching the Enemy of The State, the government were using their special "tools" for their own personal reasonings, not for their country. I guess, I could just say that the government should be more fair. Don't get me wrong, safety is very important to every human being, but then again, no one is ever safe everyday of their life. Why does the government always want to have control and more power? I think everyone is equal, except the president. He has more power of making a change and moving us forward. If it wasn't for power and control, would we be in the position that we are in now? Shouldn't us citizen have the rights to say yes or no to invading our privacy? Are they really protecting us or harming us in a certain way? I think it's best for me to say that I agree and disagree with the Patriot Act.
After watching Enemy of the State, I must admit I am a scared of what the government is actually capable of. In the movie the government had absolutely all the power in regards to its citizens. The people had no privacy in their home, work, and etc. If there was a top secret government issue anything would be done to handle it without a disturbance. When the NSA officials raided actor, Will Smith's home they had no consideration for him or his family. Clearly, they can care less as to who gets hurt in the process of solving the problem. They killed innocent people and along with disturbing the peaceful environment. I believe if Will Smith would have gave them the tape in the beginning they would have still most likely killed him anyway. As innocent as he was, it didn't matter to National Security. They wouldn't have trusted his word anyway.
Personally, I think how the government invaded the people's privacy was unnecessary. I believe their should be a balance but to an extent. Similar to crime shows, they hack your phone records, cross referencing people, and bank statement. I think that is okay but when you go beyond those boundaries it becomes a problem. I rather the government see who I've been talking to versus them tapping into my phone call. I find that to be so drastic. We as citizens should have the right to live privately.
Now if someone is seen as threatening its hard to say what the right thing to do is. Do you invade their privacy to get answers or do you respect it? That is a very difficult question. I have no idea how to answer it. Part of me is saying check them! Then other part is saying but what happen to respecting ones' privacy? I don't exactly now what I would do to even handle that situation because its such a contradiction. We want to catch the bad guys but we also want to respect our people. I learned that you can please everyone so we have to compromise somehow.
The way they broke into Dean's house was ridiculous, and bugged it was not ok, fire alarm, cloths, phones, they made it so that there was no privacy. Also the way they would use the satellites really sketched me out. For all I know they could be doing that to me right now, how would I know? I wouldn't, and thats what makes this so imoral, citizens have the right to know when they are being watched, nobody should ever feel like they need to be anyone but them selfs because they can be arrested for it.
I don't really agree with wire taps, and all that, but I understand why its done. So if they government feels that its essential to tap some phones to protect us from LEGITIMATE terror attacks the ok, but do not tap my phone because I said "bomb", or "I gonna kill the president", I mean I said that all the time while G.W. Bush was in office, along with most people I know. And I mean I feel as though I provide the government with enough of my personal information, and if they want more they should arrest me for some illegal act I committed, they shouldn't just wire tap my house. I feel like there should be a checks and balances system when tapping peoples homes, cloths, cars, etc.
OH MY GOLLY. Let me say, that movie was good. Aside from that it EXTREMELY changed my perspective to what I believed about the privacy I claim. At first, there wasn't much refusal with allowing the government to look through my life. It doesn't bother me, I have nothing to hide. But that movie only led me to go against ONE thing.. even the ones who are watching us, may need someone to watch them. And them someone to watch them, and someone to watch them. I found it funny, how, someone from the government could cut off surveillance from themselves, but we can't. People who have the power in stalking other people, can use it to their advantage. And that's something horrible. I'd rather have a terrorist attack, then have someone extremely important INSIDE the government, turn against and betray their own country. Because with that power, they could up with a more devious and deadly plan than someone outside the country. So it scares me. We can't monitor everyone in the world. Especially the people who are doing the monitoring. Privacy is respected and not respected no matter where we go or what country we are in. That has been the case for years with abiding the law and giving us freedom. As long as I am allowed to continue to fulfill my dreams, I could care less about anything privacy that the government finds out about me. They can't ruin my life over possible illegally downloading a book. IN all honesty, I feel they have more important things with "terrorism" to do, than with me. Unless I'm guilty, than I don't care. But I do care about how you truly can't trust anyone. I find it hilarious.. well deviating that ONE powerful man could severely ruin the life of an ordinary man because of a video. He could take advantage of his power and kill the innocent because he can. and he could hide it without anyone knowing it was him. Honestly, thats horrible. &Even though it's a movie.. I'm more than sure that something like that could have happened. It makes me scared.. it makes me freaked. That if I mistakenly had something important, but didn't know about it, they could ruin my life. For their own greed? I say either take extreme charge over who is IN charge, or just find another way to help the country with danger. But it truly scares me, thinking my government is more of a threat to me than the real killers in the world.
My absolute favorite video that was viewed during class would have had to be the old man and his blockage towards reality. At first glance of the film, I began to think that his wife died during 9/11 and that his whole life he never knew what happened. Abe brought up that he realized it wasn't because of his wife dying, but the towers that fell in which helped him to see the light of reality. Aside from the sad love story of an old man, which touched my heart, I saw that the act of 9/11 opened the eyes of many individuals. It opened the eyes for truth, reality, and that doesn't mean for just terrorism schemes from other countries. I allowed people to value each others lives, and allowed people to actually LIVE, because you never know when something like that could happen again. It faced us with reality that we don't live in the best or worst country. That aside from our bubbles we are always in war being one… or the top country in the world. That there is more than the next party, or the next crush, but doing something with your life. That's what I felt towards it. I also believed that finally seeing the light, isn't always the high light of anyones day. Some individuals cannot take the truth. The old man wheeping for his love, that he finally realized was gone, it hurt. He could finally move on.. but it hurt. Some people are happier not knowing what happen. I take that example from the Children who were unable to grasp the true meaning of 9/11. I think of it.. would it really benefit them or hurt them to see how cruel or sad the world could be? Would I really want my children to know that terrible things could happen like that, or allow their innocent minds to learn things later in life. It;s touching.. and confusing :)
I also like the video with the guy who was accused of being a terrorist because he's not a typical American and the way that the government treated him was not cool. I wasn't originally from America and I would be super pissed if the government did that to me. USA is known for their freedom, speech, and to bare arms. Where was his speech in this movie? They didn't even give him a chance to say anything. They just assumed that he was a terrorist because of his race and it just so happened that he was there during the attack. America was accusing him of something that he's not and created this big issue about him, and after 6 months, they want to act like nothing happened and call him a hero. I think that America should be less judgmental towards people because not everyone is a criminal. And ANYONE can be a hero. Just because you're white, it doesn't make you a hero.
Public Enemy of the State Reflection
Everything started with a video of a murder and fights for possession. This movie made me realize the importance of the government all together. I learned that not only congressman but people will do what ever it takes to make it through. An example from the movie is when Reynolds kills Hammersley because of his firm opposition for the passing of new legislation that would expand the power of intelligence. The movie was good and I learned that the people on the inside have a lot of power and are able to access a lot of powerful information, which again makes them powerful. They killed Roberts girlfriend and frames him for her murder.
Here's the thing that got me really confused. I didn't understand why Reynold Brian killed the other white crusted man. Not only that, but if he's part of the government. Aren't you suppose to obey the laws and do the right thing? And the right thing is to not murder someone! I feel like he was so guilty with what he had done and it caused him to lose himself and his men. The rule is that if you kill someone, you go to jail. Since he's part of the government, I'm going to assume that he knows that rule. And since he's part of the government, he should know better. Anyways, I just don't think that he shouldn't promise to do the right thing for his people if he's doing criminal things. I'm all for the USA to defend their country and make it stronger, but if they're using that bill to invade in innocent people's privacy, I don't think that should be part of the bill. Everyone deserves to have their own privacy. It's their information and I don't think anyone should know but themselves or their family members. Also, invading someone's property is not cool either. You are not allow to invade someone's house if you don't have a warrant or if the resident is not home. That's their property, not yours. Let's just say, I'm not all for someone invading my privacy, but if you get my permission, then I really don't care.
In my opinion, it shouldn't be this easy to kill 2 men without any evidence (before they tapped his lines) of him doing anything wrong. Why weren't people questioning his death or Lenny's death? There were obviously 2 men after him and when he got hit by the firetruck they immediately patted him down searching for the copy of the tape. Did anyone realize this? It seemed like people thought it was normal to watch 2 men in black trench coats pat down a dead man in the street.
"I want to use every means possible to get what we need" This quote is saying much more than it seems. It is 1. Saying that our privacy is completely disregarded and not taken seriously at all. And 2. That the government has so much power that they can do this and get away with it. This in my head is just wrong and needs to be fixed. The government should NOT have these kinds of powers without some kind of evidence to go off of. In the movie, they bugged pretty much everything he owns and made it look like a robbery. Just because the officials have more power than some other US citizens, doesnt mean they can take advantage of that and abuse their power.
The movie portrays the government agency, as a whole group of corrupts or at least the followers under the commands of the corrupt NSA leader. And as every other movie goes with their consequences, the individual they're tracking down and trying to rid out, becomes more and more clever with the help of a former NSA Agent. The longer they track them the consequences become bigger, as the agency begins to unfoil and exploit their dark matters. The dark projects they've been conducting and not showing to the public.
Would I let the government spy on me? Of course not, spying is already a word that offends its victim or specified target. Clearly I wouldn't ever let it happen, but that would only be a reality if they weren't under my radar. The government possesses so much power, there's almost no way to know that maybe they have be boxed in and processing my personal informations with all the security clearance they have.
I believe that the level of access can be what they have now, but none of them are to be revealed or released if the person's not an impending threat or imminent. Just like personal informations or room numbers are not permitted to strangers from hotel lobby employees.