The debate between where to draw the line between allowing government surveillance and keeping society’s members privacy will never be completely clear. It is important to keep a part of an individual’s life private and once the Untied States voted the Patriot Act in privacy went from limited to microscopic. Widening the scope of government surveillance slowly but surely pushes privacy out of the
1984, a novel by George Orwell, represents a dystopian society in which the people of Oceania are surveilled by the government almost all the time and have no freedoms. Today, citizens of the United States and other countries are watched in a similar way. Though different technological and personal ways of keeping watch on society than 1984, today’s government is also able to monitor most aspects of the people’s life. 1984 might be a dystopian society, but today’s condition seems to be moving towards that controlling state, where the citizens are surveilled by the government at all times.
In support of privacy, Daniel J. Solove wrote, Why Privacy Matters Even If You Have ‘Nothing to Hide.’ Solove begins his argument by introducing the nothing-to-hide argument. In general, the argument for surveillance is ‘if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear:’ hence people’s support for government efforts and regulations to ‘protect’ citizens by decreasing privacy. Those who object this argument target its most extreme cases. For example, if you have nothing to hide, could I take a nude picture of you, own all entitlements to the photo, and share it with anyone? Absolutely not, most would say, but this objection is not exceptionally compelling according to Solove. In order to understand privacy, we must not reduce it to one single definition. Privacy is extremely complex and involves a range of different things that share common characteristics. For instance, one’s privacy can be invaded by the expose of your innermost secrets, but it may also be invaded if a peeping Tom (without the reveal of any secrets) is observing you. Your privacy may also be invaded if the government seeks extensive information about you. All of these examples cause harm related to an invasion of privacy, thus making the definition of privacy not applicable for a “one size fits all” conclusion. The underlying and most significant harm that comes from surveillance is the problem of information processing. Solove uses The Trial example to demonstrate this effect. Here, the
It has been more than seventy years since the release of George Orwell’s 1984, a novel that imparts a lesson on the consequences of government overreach. However, today that novel reads like an exposé of government surveillance. Privacy and national security are two ideas competing for value on a balance; if one is more highly valued, the other carries less weight. Government desire to bolster national security by spying on its own citizens-- even the law abiding ones-- is what leads to the inverse relationship between civil liberties and security. In times of a perceived threat to the nation, national security becomes highly prized and people lose privacy. One case is terrorist attacks. 9/11 caused an understandable kneejerk reaction in Americans to bolster protection. Some of the the measures taken were observable, like greater security at airports, but others attempted to increase national security in a more intrusive way. Privacy should be more highly valued than national security, and America has reached a point where that is no longer true.
Many Americans are being watched, in great detail, by the government. In its ongoing battle against crime and terrorism, the U.S. has ramped up its surveillance on individuals over the years. As in the book, 1984, by George Orwell, "Big Brother Is Watching You". Many people feel that this surveillance is a major invasion of privacy and a violation of their rights.
Mass surveillance is a word that has been thrown around every so often in the last few decades, especially ever since George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four. Although this book was released over 60 years ago, some aspects of the book are seeming to become true in the United States, and other parts of the world today. The idea of mass surveillance isn’t so taboo anymore, as there are several programs ran by sovereign countries around the world which monitor their domestic citizens, as well as citizens and leaders of other foreign countries. With all of our technological communication advances since 1949, this age of information is only going to get more severe, and more tracking and monitoring will be done. The biggest offender of doing
The quest for privacy and security has always been a long and arduous one, as America’s citizens “no longer care” about the lack of integrity which the American government is showing towards its citizens (Sullivan). “When you have it, you don’t notice it. Only when it’s gone do you wish you’d done more to protect it.” Sullivan explains in Privacy under attack, but does anybody care?. After the National Security Agency was accused of “systematically collecting information” on citizens’ phone calls, emails, and countless other sources, “the news media treated it as a complete revelation” (Whitehead). People throughout the country protested and condemned the government—all while they failed to realize that we have consciously permitted the government to collect and secure our private information by “giving our personal information” to companies who ask for it, and by “allowing our personal lives to be posted on media sources such as Facebook and Twitter” (Washington). Ironically enough, we ourselves have
Technology is taking over the world as we know it. Orwell predicted that technology would take control of citizen’s lives and make them have no privacy, and honestly that is not so far off. Governments can access these devices and look at what people learning, looking at, and who they are talking to. There is not much that a citizen can hide from their government. Citizens do not have as much privacy as they did even just twenty years ago. With technological advances, the world could follow the story of George Orwell’s 1984. Video surveillance is something that the government uses also, although it is not as harsh as in George Orwell’s story, but still citizen’s privacies are being invaded. According to Alex Abdo, there is a United States owned database filled with every Americans information and every one of his or her associations (Abdo). Even the United States, which is considered a country built upon freedom, is monitoring its people. The American government even tries to follow everything that its citizens do. Governments even have 64 federal websites that are helping them follow their people’s browsing and buying habits (Zuckerbrod). Governments are using their websites to monitor what people are doing. This way the government can know everything from their people’s hobbies to who their best friend is. Technology is helping the government take away their citizens privacy.
Government surveillance in the past was not a big threat due to the limitations on technology; however, in the current day, it has become an immense power for the government. Taylor, author of a book on Electronic Surveillance supports, "A generation ago, when records were tucked away on paper in manila folders, there was some assurance that such information wouldn 't be spread everywhere. Now, however, our life stories are available at the push of a button" (Taylor 111). With more and more Americans logging into social media cites and using text-messaging devices, the more providers of metadata the government has. In her journal “The Virtuous Spy: Privacy as an Ethical Limit”, Anita L. Allen, an expert on privacy law, writes, “Contemporary technologies of data collection make secret, privacy invading surveillance easy and nearly irresistible. For every technology of confidential personal communication…there are one or more counter-technologies of eavesdropping” (Allen 1). Being in the middle of the Digital Age, we have to be much more careful of the kinds of information we put in our digital devices.
In George Orwell’s 1984, Big Brother uses surveillance to spy on everything from people’s everyday actions to thoughts in their mind’s privacy. The government controls much of the citizens, and this book has left a horrifying image to its readers for the future of government surveillance. As much as it sounds extreme, this could be the near future of Americans if surveillance programs continue to grow. Due to the many findings of Edward Snowden on the flaws of surveillance programs, changes must be made to the NSA Domestic Surveillance Programs.
Living in a country that is known to be “Land of the free…” is not exactly what most people dream of. The United States may be known for its freedom and power, but most people are unaware of the covertness behind the government. And by now, almost every American citizen knows that privacy no longer exists. In this century and country, it really does not.
Specific Purpose: My purpose of this presentation is to inform listeners about the dangers of government surveillance and why it should be stopped.
According to the journalist Arthur Baxter “Technology has brought great advances and conveniences, but it also comes with the cost of privacy” (TNW News). We have seen many examples about governments spying on people or spying on other countries. Perhaps the most important and the easiest way that enables governments to spy is by using people’s information on social media, bank accounts, by satellite surveillance, and help from some companies. This, however, is a stain on all governments that pursue this approach, and to all companies that help the governments spying on people.
The government places emphasis on “freedom” in America, in face of evidence that presents the deceptiveness of our dignitary. Although the word “freedom” lies between our country’s documents and beliefs, the NSA (National Security Agency) tramples what took years of bloodshed and development to circumvent its citizen’s privacy through surveillance. According to internetworldstats, 13% of American citizens don’t use the internet, meaning that 87% of our population is at risk of surveillance. Therefore, the US Government should tighten laws to restrict or stop NSA surveillance on the public.
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.