September 05, 2003 Features & Images » Feature Story

Feature - Security measures 

Two years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are we facing another assault?

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"Freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of thought, virtually any freedom you can name, all are based on the right to privacy, and are unthinkable without it," he said.

"How can we be truly free if our every move is watched, our every activity known, our every preference monitored? And yet, almost every day, in some new and creative way, this fundamental human right is being chipped away. Sometimes the diminution is subtle, sometimes it’s a full frontal attack – but the process is begun and it is a challenge we must answer.

"To do that, we must take the view that privacy is not just an individual right – it is a public good. It reflects decisions we have made as a people about how we will live as a society. Privacy is, as Justice La Forest of the Supreme Court of Canada has said, ‘at the heart of liberty in a modern state.’ And we are, all of us, the loser if individual liberty is lost."

Much was lost on Sept. 11, and the natural reaction is to improve security. But in the last two years some of our fundamental values have been under attack in the pursuit of security. Defending those rights and values is even more important in the world today.

In the words Alan Borovoy of the Canadian Civil Liberties Union, "If we were to needlessly surrender any of our precious freedoms, we could wind up awarding the terrorists a gratuitous victory."

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