Important Notice for U.S. Citizens

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR U.S. CITIZENS ABOUT CHANGES TO YOUR CITIZENSHIP AGREEMENT.

PLEASE READ AND RETAIN FOR YOUR RECORDS.

We would like to explain certain changes in the terms of the Citizenship Agreement for your U.S. citizenship ("Agreement"). Some of the terms in this notice may already be in effect on your account and will not change. Any terms on your account not changed here remain in effect until such time as we ("We") decide they do not.

To help you understand the changes in the terms of your Agreement, We explain the most important changes in the Summary of New Terms below. The changes described will take effect for citizenship cycles beginning Jan. 20, 2005, and will apply to all existing and future balances on your account.

SUMMARY OF NEW TERMS

SECTION 16
This amendment affects the Right to Privacy section of your agreement. Under the new terms, the Right to Privacy must be applied for on an individual basis. To apply for your Right to Privacy, you must send your full credit history, a copy of your party registration and church membership, a complete set of fingerprints, a DNA sample, and two (2) passport-size photographs of your bedroom to: National Privacy Registry, Washington, DC, 20012-3006, att: Doris.

SECTION 26
This amendment affects the Unreasonable Search and Seizure section of the Agreement. Under the new terms of this section, the right to unreasonable search and seizure shall not be abridged.

Excerpted from Evan Eisenberg "Low Concept: Important Changes to Your Citizenship Agreement," Slate (www.slate.com), posted Friday, March 25, 2005.


Focus Questions:

1. What personal information, if any, do you think we should be able to keep private from the government? Why?

2. Based on your reading of the excerpt, what do you think the author is saying about the evolution of the Fourth Amendment, which protects our privacy and freedom from arbitrary government actions (searches and seizures)? Why do you agree or disagree with his position?

3. If we apply the analogy of a contractual agreement to the Constitution, what do you think the author is saying about the characteristics of the current "contractual agreement" between government and citizens through this excerpt? Do you agree? Why?

4. What do you think would define an unreasonable search or seizure today? To what extent do you believe current checks on government powers adequately protect us from government intrusion in private matters and arbitrary or unreasonable searches or seizures? Why?

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