Post-Sept. 11 surveillance impact studied

September 14, 2005

A Canadian study indicates people four years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are becoming uncomfortable with increased government surveillance.

Dr. Kevin Haggerty, director of the criminology program at the University of Alberta, notes immediately after the terrorist attacks, both U.S. and Canadian officials quickly increased surveillance of their citizens.

But now, four years later, Haggerty says suspicion of government leaders' motives has heightened, with more people questioning the greater invasion of their privacy.

"Right after (Sept. 11) it was impossible for anyone to say no to anything that would purportedly increase security," said Haggerty, who co-authored a paper on the subject published in the Canadian Journal of Sociology.

The ability of lawmakers to monitor our Internet use, financial transactions, personal movements and cell phone use had previously been proposed and rejected as unwarranted privacy invasions.

But now he said polling numbers indicate people are now looking more critically at the impact on their civil liberties -- "the cornerstone of a liberal democracy."

"Without a sense of privacy, we tend to self-censor and don't say what we really think," he said. "It's hard to quantify, but it's a huge loss."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Horn of Africa drying ever faster as climate warms

October 9, 2015

The Horn of Africa has become increasingly arid in sync with the global and regional warming of the last century and at a rate unprecedented in the last 2,000 years, according to new research led by a University of Arizona ...

Scientists paint quantum electronics with beams of light

October 9, 2015

A team of scientists from the University of Chicago and the Pennsylvania State University have accidentally discovered a new way of using light to draw and erase quantum-mechanical circuits in a unique class of materials ...

A mission to a metal world—The Psyche mission

October 9, 2015

In their drive to set exploration goals for the future, NASA's Discovery Program put out the call for proposals for their thirteenth Discovery mission in February 2014. After reviewing the 27 initial proposals, a panel of ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.