Below you will find SearchSecurity.com expert Ed Yakabovicz's response to questions about how the PATRIOT Act affects individual security and civil liberties. This article is one of a group of SearchSecurity.com expert answers to questions on this legislation.
Suppose one day you give an acquaintance a ride home from their work place, which is a nice corporate company with a large lot and overall nice facilities. The pickup area is not a fire lane, nor does it have any signs that designate it as a no drop-off or no-standing zone, but you've noticed in the past that the onsite security only allows about three minutes to wait in this area before they ask you to move to another location. On any given day you stop your vehicle in this area to pickup your acquaintance, but instead of the typical three minutes, the security guard drives up no sooner than 10 seconds after you park. You tell the guard you are picking up an acquaintance who you know is only a few seconds away, because you just got off the mobile phone with them. But, the guard is agitated and acts unprofessional with a foul temper and harsh words. You are surprised and answer you will only be a minute, but the guard is only getting more angry by the second. You ask for a supervisor, only to be rebuffed without a word in edge-wise. As you drive away, the guard is writing down your vehicle tag number and cursing at you.
With the current security pandemonium that is now sweeping our country and laws that are changed overnight, this simple event has changed a nice day of helping a friend into a nightmare. Situations like these seem to occur daily now -– no longer are they extraordinary events as they were in the past. You realize physical security of financial institutions, government offices and other high-risk areas has increased many fold, but what of ordinary office buildings? Do they require such extreme measures? What of those companies that have hired third-party physical security providers who have no law enforcement duties or empowerment, are paid minimum wage, do not fully understand laws the govern their environment, nor are training in any of these areas? Is American ready to deal with common sense human interaction of parking vehicles as a security threat, terrorism or law enforcement ordeal? Have we all lost our minds?
As recorded in the public records, these events happened to me by an unnamed company of Wilmington, DE. But instead of dropping this incident, the company chose to report me for parking in a fire lane, no-drop off zone and a no stopping zone, which are all false statements. Additionally, they reported me as saying that I work for law enforcement, which is a crime in the United States. Was this sheer security pandemonium or the fact we must entrust the ethics of maintaining our security to those being paid minimum wage without much training or education, and little patience to deal with the public?
I feel maybe our "personal security threat level" (PSTL) is now well beyond the common sense indicator. This new indicator should be added to the homeland security indicators to show the true state of the nation. We have gone over the rational edge with no life-line to bring us back to realism. With the passing of the PATRIOT Act in 2001 (USAPA), its amendments and other security laws, are we expecting the brown shirts to surface at anytime? Where is our country headed? Are we all destined for the outrage of being criticized, berated and maybe arrested because the untrained, low wage and sometimes unethical security guard is not ready to deal with a parking matter? Has America gone crazy, or is this the beginning of the end of common sense?
I, for one, have had enough at this point. Having false claims filed by an untrained and unprofessional security guard only shows the true state of our nation today -- totally out of control! The new laws have given people, who would normally not, unlimited power over anyone or anything without recourse as long as it's related to security. I can only hope there is a free tomorrow for my children as I had in my past. Each American should take the time to understand how our new laws are changing our world and demand action from those that are suppose to represent us in Washington to protect our rights from such a common sense wrong. I, myself, will not stand by while an unethical person or company attempts to slander me in the community where I work, pay taxes, volunteer or live. I do hope the rest of America will do the same.
Read the other SearchSecurity.com expert responses: