Book cover for 'More Secure, Less Free?'

More Secure, Less Free?

Antiterrorism Policy and Civil Liberties after September 11
Mark Sidel
The first comprehensive analysis of the full range of antiterror initiatives undertaken in the United States after the 2001 terrorist attacks


Anyone concerned about our civil liberties in a post-9/11 world should read More Secure, Less Free?, the first comprehensive analysis of U.S. antiterror initiatives implemented after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

More Secure, Less Free? goes beyond coverage of the Patriot Act, analyzing Total Information Awareness, the Terrorist Information and Prevention System (TIPS), the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System II (CAPPS II), and a number of other "second wave" antiterror initiatives.

Mark Sidel takes us behind the headlines to reveal how key provisions of controversial antiterror policies have been buried in state legislation, and how the military has taken over key police functions. Sidel discusses the continuing debates on antiterror law in the crucial states of New York, California, and Michigan, and explains how the military—through an informant program known as "Eagle Eyes"—is now taking a direct hand in domestic antiterror efforts. The effect has been a quiet but pervasive chilling of our most basic civil liberties.

Sidel also investigates aspects of American antiterror policy largely ignored in other books, including its effects on the American academic world and the nonprofit sector. And he provides the first international comparisons of antiterror policy yet published in an American volume, contrasting security initiatives in Great Britain, Australia, and India with the American experience.

Mark Sidel is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Iowa and a research scholar at the University's Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.

Praise / Awards

  • "More Secure, Less Free? deftly parses the major civil liberties debates swirling around the policies of the US government in the aftermath of 9/11, and holds some of the most troubling aspects of these policies up for intense scrutiny. The question Mark Sidel poses in his title is at the fulcrum of America's conscience, and his reasoned consideration is sure to inform concerned readers at every level."
    —Anthony Romero, Executive Director, ACLU
  • "Mark Sidel takes us beyond a critique of the Patriot Act to examine what he rightly dubs the 'second wave' of assaults on our civil liberties that has emerged since September 11. Detailing the rise and fall of TIPS, TIA, and CAPPS II, along with the continuing threats from the SEVIS and the MATRIX programs, the book reminds us that a broad based campaign to oppose such programs can defeat the expansion of the governments' authority to monitor and record the most sensitive and intimate details of the lives of innocent, law abiding Americans. Sidel also reminds us that the retreat of many of these 'second wave' programs does not preclude the emergence of a third or fourth wave of antiterrorism policies that can bring us closer and closer to creating a true surveillance society."
    —Barry Steinhardt, Director, Technology and Liberty Program, American Civil Liberties Union
  • "A very good piece of work on a possible grave conflict. Let us not abandon freedom to preserve it."
    —John Kenneth Galbraith, Harvard University
  • "An essential and exceptionally well-documented resource for all civil libertarians concerned with the encroachments on liberties in the name of 'security.'"
    —Michael Gorman, President-elect, American Library Association
  • "Through a comprehensive analysis of America's antiterrorism policy, Sidel directly targets what Americans have lost in the 'war against terror'. Indirectly, from the Patriot Act in the United States to POTA in India, he discusses the impact of America's anti-terror policies around the globe. More Secure, Less Free? is a must read for anyone concerned about the increasing threats to liberty across the globe."
    —Ravi Nair, Coordinator, Asia Pacific Human Rights Network and Executive Director, South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre
  • "The normal tension between freedom and security is under particular strain since 9-11, and Mark Sidel documents the silent and steady erosion of privacy and the public's right to know. At the same time that government agencies and their private sector partners are quietly building databases to store information about the public, it is becoming harder and harder for the public to learn what government agencies themselves are up to even about those new databases. Mark Sidel shows how government for, by, and of the people can quietly become an indirect casualty in a war on terrorism, unless we are vigilant."
    —Sen. Patrick Leahy, Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee
  • "In his slender, fact-packed and worrying volume, Mark Sidel, who teaches law at the University of Iowa, takes a careful and searching look at the unprecedented terror attack of 2001 and its impact. . . . [T]he issue of security versus freedom will be fiercely debated for years, which only makes Sidel's 'More Secure Less Free?' essential reading."
    —Murray Polner, History News Network
  • ". . . the most complete analysis of the civil liberties aspect of the ongoing war on terrorism. . . . Sidel dispassionately examines the tension between the need to guard against another massive attack on U.S. soil and the need to maintain a free and open society. . . . This book provides a useful starting point for understanding the USA Patriot Act, which was famously rushed to passage—six weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks—by a frightened Congress and remains much misunderstood. After a political year in which there was a lot of blushes about the depredations of the act, Sidel performs a huge service by pulling the thing apart and explaining this complex piece of legislation. . . . [E]ven if you don't agree with him, the arguments are compelling and demand serious consideration."
    —Michael A. Riccardi, Legal Intelligencer

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Copyright © 2004, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

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  • 2021
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