Individual Privacy vs. National Security: A Report

628 Words3 Pages
Individual Privacy vs National Security In liberal-democratic societies, the right to individual privacy is among the core components of the democratic system. The right to privacy is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States and is a part of value systems Americans are proud of and cherish. Concepts related to privacy "touch on freedom, trust, the right to be left alone, obedience, and free will" (Michael & Michael, 2006, p. 360). The privacy needs of citizens, however, can be fully met only in times of peace and stability. National security threats sometimes may require security measures that allow law enforcement agencies to collect data that is crucial to protecting the nation. These security measures may clash with privacy concerns of the citizens. And since the national security is for greater good, citizens must be ready to give up some of their privacy rights for overall good. National security concerns are more important for the safety and security of the nation. Critics of the tougher security measures embraced in the wake of September 11 attacks on the United States often claim that the government intrusion into the privacy of citizens is illegal and against the established traditions of Western liberalism. But since the founding of modern liberal traditions, philosophers and political scientists have emphasized the necessity of what John Locke called the "prerogative" the government could resort to in times of crisis. Locke was a paramount advocate of
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