searching for sensible alternatives


American Civil Liberties Union
Amnesty International
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
CATO Institute
Center for Constitutional Rights
Center for Democracy and Technology
Constitution Project
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Electronic Privacy Information Center
First Monday
Lawyers Committee for Human Rights
National Lawyers Guild
National Security Agency
People for the American Way
Privacy International
Rights and Liberties - AlterNet
Southern Poverty Law Center
U.S. Department of Justice


Declaration of Independence
Bill of Rights
U.S. Constitution
Homeland Security Act of 2002
The Patriot Act
Patriot II - draft


Posters on each page - Copyright 2003, Micah Ian Wright, Visit The Propaganda Remix Project for more information.

Law and Liberty in a
"Secure Homeland"

- Why This?-

Why This? - Why Now? 

It may be argued that the confluence of terrorism, authoritarianism, corporatism, and technology has enabled rapid adoption of policies with broad implications. These policies, adopted in the face of seemingly ineffective legal and social opposition, will lead to many legal challenges in the coming years.

In effect, changes recently made regarding civil liberty may not have been possible at any other time in history. Technological advances, a willingness to impose (and accept) limits on liberty, and a precipitating event have resulted in a unique situation in which rapid policy change is possible. Issues related to these three key themes - technology, willingness, and event - are discussed below.


Technological advances have resulted in surveillance and data collection tools that were not available just a few years ago. These tools are being rapidly adopted by corporations interest in gathering data to market products, monitor employees, and accomplish other goals. These tools are also available to government agencies. Civil liberties protections have limited their use - before "Homeland Security."

The Center for Democracy and Technology

Big Brother is No Longer a Fiction

Privacy and Technology

ACLU - Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains

Spying for Fun and Profit


ACLU - Commentary




FBI - Carnivore

EPIC -Carnivore FOIA Legislation

How Carnivore Works

Carnivore Eats Your Privacy


Echelon Watch

Inside Echelon

"Total Information Awareness"

TIA is based on a vision of pulling together as much information as possible about as many people as possible into an "ultra-large-scale" database, making that information available to government officials, and sorting through it to try to identify terrorists.

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Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) 

DARPA - Information Awareness Office

DARPA - TIA Systems Chart

DARPA - TIA faq's

ACLU - Program Description

ACLU - Q & A

Electronic Privacy information Center - TIA Information

Association for Computing Machinery - Concerns

Reflection #6

This last set of links refer to technological innovations that you may not have thought about before. Has technology grown too powerful, especially in the ability to collect and organize personal data? Do you feel like you should try to resist these efforts to collect personal data? In what ways can you, assuming you want to, minimize the amount of data that can be collected?

Reflection #7

These data collection and processing tools can be used by the government and by private industry or individuals. Which of these users has the greatest potential for abuse?


Political Atmosphere

WIRED - Taking Liberties with our Freedoms

Salon - Does Tom Ridge matter?

Village VOICE - Attack on Civil Liberties


Assault on Civil Liberties

Crossing Swords with General Ashcroft

Ode to John Ashcroft and Civil Liberties

Ashcroft Watch

People for the American Way


The Truth About George

Judge Dread: Bush and Civil Liberties



Civil Liberties - Post 9/11

Cato Institute Scholars and 9/11

Limited Liberty - Post 9/11

Civil Liberties in an Age of Terror

War on Terror

Its Not Just About Terrorists

Americans for Victory Against Terror

Reflection #8

Some commentators have suggested that the current administration is composed of individuals who have little respect for civil liberties. Some arguments seem somewhat conspiratorial. Do you think that the government would have found reasons to enact much of the "Homeland Security" legislation, as associated limits on civil liberties, even if 9/11 had not occured?

War and Civil Liberties

Historically, Americans have accepted limits on Civil Liberties during times of war. Looking back, many believe that these restrictions went too far and that liberties were needlessly restricted. This is especially true in the case of World War II internment camps.


Civil Liberties vs. National Security

Civil Liberties During Wartime - U.S. News Classroom

Civil Liberties in Wartime - Cato Institute

Civil Liberties in Wartime - Justice Learning

Wartime Laws

Wartime's Lost Liberties

How Much are We Willing to Lose?

War related limitations on security

Fighting Terrorism, Preserving Civil Liberties

Preserving Our Liberties While Fighting Terrorism

WIRED - Why Liberty Suffers in Wartime

History Repeats

Internment Camps

Internment History

Conscience and the Constitution

The Japanese American Internment

Reflection #9

Why are we willing to give up "liberty" at times of war? Does our sacrifice, and acknowledgement that we are giving up something of value, reinforce our beliefs about the importance of civil liberties?

War Without End?

War related limits on civil liberties have typically been temporary in nature - as is war. However, the "War on Terror" appears to be a very different situation. The administration has talked in terms of war without end. If this war never ends, can we expect the war justified limitations of liberty to continue without end?

Protecting Liberties in a Permanent War

Reflection #10

How is this "war on terror" different from past events that have motivated us to reduce "liberty" for the greater good?


In times of crisis, freedom of speech may become tangled with issues of national security. Since 9/11, some Americans have urged fellow citizens to avoid criticizing the government. At the same time other equally patriotic citizens have encouraged debate and dialogue - often at the risk of being called unpatriotic or worse. What is patriotism? How has this dilemma been addressed in the past?

Immediately after 9/11 we witnesses a surge in patriotism. This patriotism was often made apparent through the display of flags and other symbols of the United States. The flags accompany "United We Stand" bumper stickers. We also see slogans such as "In God We Trust" and "The Power of Pride" (inspired by a large American corporation).

What is Patriotism?

Patriotism Quotes

Commentary - Bill Moyers

The Patriotism Enforcers

Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty


Is it possible to love your country while questioning its government?

A Time for Dissent

Dissent Magazine

Third World Traveler

Waging War on Political Dissent

Political Dissent can bring Federal Agents to Your Door

Silencing Political Dissent

Reflection #11

What is patriotism? What do patriots do?

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