Surveillance Society

By Ivan Eland
November 9, 2005
Since 9/11, the FBI, once organized to fight crime, has been undergoing a makeover to focus its efforts on preventing future terrorist attacks.

To help the agency in its efforts, in 2001, the Congress recklessly passed and is now about to renew the USA PATRIOT Act, which dramatically increased the surveillance powers of law enforcement.

Yet, the truth is that terrorism (even including the 9/11 attacks) is a rare phenomenon in North America that kills far fewer people than ordinary crime, car accidents, or medical problems. As tragic as the 3,000 deaths from the aberrant 9/11 strikes were, the worst effect of those incidents was the self-inflicted wound from the conversion of America from the “land of the free” to the “land of the watched.”

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