Mass Electronic Surveillance is an Invasion of Privacy Essay

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Introduction

Privacy is central to our understanding of freedom of expression and thus on a larger scale democracy. Mass surveillance is an invasion of common man’s privacy. Recent development in the way in which technology can invade privacy has heightened the need for greater protection freedom of expression. However, a major problem in this area is that the public are not provided with adequate information to act against such invasion of their rights. To date, there has been little agreement to what extent mass surveillance should be allowed in the name of providing security to the citizen of the country and to what extent privacy of the citizens of other countries should be respected.
This essay seeks to remedy these problems by
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Mass surveillance has been used a tool to keep people’s behaviour under control. Knowledge gives power and someone will definitely have a greater advantage over you if they know everything about you. Mass surveillance can be used to control the flow of opinion and suppress the opposition of all forms.
There are two approaches to study mass surveillance one is Panoptic and other non –Panoptic approach. Foucault uses philosopher Jeremy Bentham concept of ‘Panoptic prison for describing surveillance has been widely recognized, where all the prisoners have no clue when they are under surveillance, hence they behave as if they constantly under surveillance which ultimately disciplined and reform them.’ Thus to some extent mass surveillance can act as a way to discipline people and keep them under control. Some authors approach surveillance in non-panoptic way where surveillance has positive aspects like protection and security and where everyone has an opportunity to surveil (Allmer. T, 2012:128). But non – Panoptic approach does not take into account asymmetric power relations and repressive aspects of society into consideration (Allmer. T, 2012: 135). So this essay will use panoptic approach to study mass surveillance. As human being we all indulge in some kind of surveillance like ‘social surveillance’ (Joinson 2008, Tokunaga 2011). An average
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