Essentially, the Fourth Amendment provides protection to citizens in terms of unlawful searches and seizure of private property by government agencies. The government has been gradually moving to erode the gains provided by important constitutional clauses such as the Fourth Amendment by the introduction of new policies. The United States government has been criticized for undertaking programs, which are in extreme violation of the Fourth Amendment. The United States government NSA program that provides secret phone recording violates the basic tenets of privacy rights (Valeriano, & Powers, 2010).

In addition, the NSA has violated the privacy of Americans by unauthorized access to phone records and conversations without adhering to due processes. This is seen as an arbitrary invasion and indiscriminate because it uses a highly sophisticated and technologically advanced approach in unauthorized access of private information the public. The phone program operated by the NSA was leaked by Edward Snowden who exiled himself into Russia. This is an illustration of the extent of violations against the privacy of Americans. This is informed by the need to collect information, which can be used for defense purposes such as eliminating terror threats and ensuring the protection of American citizens (Oosterom-Staples, 2008).

In the article, United States Policy on Terrorism: Where Are We Going and How Are We Getting There? by Foxell, the author notes that, “the White House, the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the Central Intelligence Agency, assisted by a vast executive department bureaucracy, have systematically worked for the past several decades to translate our country’s counterterrorism policy objectives into programs that will deprive terrorists of funds, training camps, forward staging areas, and local community support wherever they operate.”

This affirms that such programs have a direct control and support from top officials in the government including the United States president. They are conducted with little regard of the interests of the public and more so with lack of consideration of their respective rights to privacy as strongly anchored in the Fourth Amendment.

In addition, it is evident that terrorism and the fight against this vice have informed the foreign policy of the United States in its relations with other countries. The attitudes exhibited towards interactions with countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, china, Africa differ based on the interests of the United States. Gadarian (2010) in the article The Politics of Threat: How Terrorism News Shapes Foreign Policy Attitudes notes that the United States government underwent significant restructuring after 9/11 attacks. There were significant changes in the media environment, especially in relation to threatening information as well as evocative images. This enhanced the support by the public for the leaders towards the establishment of policies, which would ensure optimized safety for all American citizens at home and abroad.

Gadarian (2010) states, “The presence of threat is associated with in group solidarity, ethnocentrism, an increased reliance on enemy images, and decreased sup- port for civil liberties.” This emphasizes that the blatant disregard of public civil liberties such as the Fourth Amendment has been to a large extent been a consequence of fear posed by terror threats as seen in 9/11. The author highlights the role of the media in inducing support amongst the public for certain programs and activities that have resulted in disregard and violation of basic privacy and human rights amongst the public. Furthermore, it illustrates that the media has the ability to dissuade the public from supporting policies and laws that are regressive in nature. The media is tasked with providing an accurate account of the happenings in the world rather than holding the truth away from the public. Truthful information, in relation to terrorist attacks, would enable the public to understand the delicate nature of security in the country. It is noted in the article that, in the process of providing security, minimizing terror threats in American territory, the government has been using retrogressive security policies. It has resorted to blatant violation of basic privacy and human rights. It has contravened the constitution, which is has been tasked to protect and uphold as a result of fear of terror and death of its people.

















Alam, Y., & Husband, C. (2013) Islamophobia, community cohesion and counter-terrorism policies in Britain. Patterns of Prejudice, 47(3): p235-252.

Cameron, R. W. (2007). Self-discipline in a Time of Terror U.S. Foreign Policy and the U.S. Self. Theoria: A Journal of Social & Political Theory, 54 (114):74-101.

Cohen, D. H. (2010). Post-9/11 Anti-terrorism Policy Regarding Non-citizens and the Constitutional Idea of Equal Protection Under the Laws. Texas Law Review, 88(6):1323-1343.

Foxell, Jr., J., (2004). United States Policy on Terrorism: Where Are We Going and How Are We Getting There?. American Foreign Policy Interests, 26(3): 241-252.

Gadarian, S. K. (2010).The Politics of Threat: How Terrorism News Shapes Foreign Policy Attitudes. Journal of Politics, 72(2): 469-483.

May, P. J., Sapotichne, J., Workman, S. (2009).Widespread Policy Disruption: Terrorism, Public Risks, and Homeland Security. Policy Studies Journal, 37 (2): p171-194.

Nezer, M. (2006).The Material Support Problem: Where U.S. Anti-Terrorism Laws, Refugee Protection, and Foreign Policy Collide. Brown Journal of World Affairs, 13(1): p177-190.

Oosterom-Staples, H. (2008). Using National Security and Public Policy to Combat Terrorism: The Case of the Netherlands. European Journal of Migration & Law, 10(1):p51-75.

Valeriano, B., & Powers, M. (2010). United States-Mexico: The Convergence of Public Policy Views in the Post-9/11 World. Policy Studies Journal, 38(4): p745-775.

Zantovsky, M. (2014).The Uncertainty of Freedom. World Affairs, 177 (1): p67-75.

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