In the new age of technology, more and more of our personal information has become accessible online and through other applications. While this makes tasks such as paying bills, talking to our friends, and creating documents more convenient, by placing all of the tools needed to complete these tasks right at our finger tips, we must ask ourselves who else can see our personal information. How does seeing that information benefit the people seeing it, and how do you, as an internet user, feel about that?
Most people would prefer to keep their private information to themselves instead of unknowingly sharing it with government officials. The government having access to our technology usage without our knowledge and/or probable cause breaks the fourth amendment in the constitution, “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”. If the constitution represents an unbreakable set of laws in America, why is the government, specifically the NSA (National Security Agency), doing just that?
We first experienced proof that the U.S. government has the ability to look at whatever you are doing with your technology in 2013 due to Edward Snowden, who leaked classified information from the NSA detailing spyware that lets them see any files you have or anything you do with your technology.
However, while this represents the first bit of evidence that proves the invasion of our privacy, there have been a number of predictions and forecasts of these events in books and movies. “1984” by George Orwell prophesied the concept of having no privacy as far back as 1944 when the book first came into existence. A movie adaptation of a book was released earlier this year known as “The Circle”. It painted a reality where a transition to being under constant surveillance could happen within the next couple decades.
Currently, the NSA claims that under section 702, “NSA will no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target.” However, we need to make sure that we keep our government honest. Even though they are not currently collecting information, they have in the past and it’s likely that they will continue to do so in the future.
On the flip side, the information collecting software used by the NSA has proven very useful in catching terrorists and stopping potential attacks. With public knowledge of being watched, terrorists will have no choice other than to bury their conversations even further in code than they do already. In today’s
world, terrorism is an issue that only seems to grow. We need to prevent terrorism in all forms, but at what cost? Would you be willing to give up your civil liberties to end terrorism? Other options and alternatives for ridding the world of terrorism do exist, let’s try to use those methods before we give up all of the rights that define us as Americans.