An open letter to the United States, and to the citizens of the world:
In the aftermath of 11 September, we in the United States are witnessing a dramatic assault on our civil liberties - not by the terrorists who seek to destroy our nation, but rather from within our own ranks.
The World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks are being used as justification for a broad expansion of governmental and police powers to surveil, stop, question, detain, and imprison people with any link, real or imagined, to terrorist activities.
In defending our great nation against evil, we must not become that which we fight against - a nation where people worry that their phones may be tapped, or need papers for travel, or can be imprisoned without a hearing, or are singled out and treated differently based on their appearance, or otherwise live in fear of the government, the police, or their neighbors.
If this becomes true - if we become a police state or allow vigilantes to rule the streets - then the terrorists will have won a larger victory than toppling material symbols of our wealth and prosperity. They will have toppled our nation's principles and, in a larger sense, our nation's dignity.
I urge the members of Congress to remove any provisions from antiterrorism bills which could be used to justify wiretapping, e-mail interception, Web browser tracking, detention, travel restrictions, or other electronic or physical monitoring or surveillance, or any other restrictions on the human rights and civil liberties enjoyed by the citizens and guests of these great United States.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
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