Privacy vs. security debate continues post-9/11 - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Privacy vs. security debate continues post-9/11

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The debate fired back up after the NSA leak scandal. The debate fired back up after the NSA leak scandal.

The individual privacy versus national security debate rages 12 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Congress passed the controversial Patriot Act weeks later, and critics haven't stopped voicing concerns since. But it's only gotten worse with the recent NSA privacy leak.

"I think it's gone way overboard in what they're doing and looking at the average citizen and not just looking at overseas personnel," said concerned citizen Robert Bridges.

The Patriot Act was passed Oct. 21, 2001. It allowed things such as secret wiretaps and more surveillance in the name of national security.

"There's a constant tug of war between privacy rights for individuals, which this nation is very supportive of in its traditions, and national security," said Athens State University's Dr. Ron Fritze.

Fritze believes 9/11 was the turning point when everything shifted towards keeping America safe.   

"People don't want everybody to know what books they check out at the library," said Fritze. "On the other hand, due to the Patriot Act, we want to know if some Middle Eastern person checked out nuclear weapons for dummies."

Fritze expects the debate to heat up even more as the NSA spying story continues to unravel.

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