How Much Does Internet Privacy Matter? Thesis: Is the government watching online activity really warranted? In this current day and age, there’s a lot of disagreement about the level of privacy one has on the Internet. With the government able to see things such as your credit card records, employment records, and more, it can be tempting to dismiss the entire idea of allowing the government to “spy” on Americans. In Daniel J. Solove’s paper “Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have ‘Nothing to Hide’” explores the issue of how the government uses the Internet to watch Americans and what they do while online.
The NSA is a United States intelligence agency responsible for the production and management of intelligence and information assurance for the United States government. The concept that American citizens should place their trust in government efforts to spy and do right by the people with national security in there hands posses too many dangers. Although the government claims to be spying on its citizens for their own protection, the question still remains, should the United States government have the authority to spy on American citizens to avoid terrorism? There are many types of surveillance’s that the government as set in motion. For instance, computer surveillance, phone surveillance, and Camera surveillance.
Is it worth giving up privacy for security that may not protect anyone after all? Recently Edward Snowden a former National Security Agent (NSA) said that the reason he leaked government information was to warn the United State citizen of the danger they are facing from the government surveillance programs. According to Snowden, the NSA is gathering phone calls context and internet information on every American, storing this mass of information to use in the future to against the people they are supposed to protect. The government claims they had an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) that allow them to collect metadata information from the Verizon telephone company, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others, to analyze the information for a possible threat to the United State. The problem with this is that the government collection of information of all Americans violates the fourth and fifth amendments of the US constitution, which protects Americans from intrusion to their private lives from the government.
With computers on the rise, and the government converting to computers, the government needed a way to discourage and prosecute someone that damaged or gained access to the government’s information, and any other kind of computer. This law was also made to protect any kind of businesses computers or servers. The CFAA also is considered a net that Congress throws all the bad fish in. Including “fraud, hacking, piracy, DOS (Denial of Service) attacks, trafficking passwords, (selling, stealing, and buying passwords), and distributing malicious code.” To summarize the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act it protects “anything that connects to the internet”. Computers were on the rise (being used more often), and so were computer crimes.
Government surveillance programs use supercomputers that analyze massive amounts of data, and it has been said that the surveillance network can reach about 75 percent of the internet. The Idea of the government spying on citizens angers some and eases some. Supporters claim that domestic eavesdropping is crucial to ensuring the country's safety during the war on terrorism. Critics claim that the spying program is another direct affront to the public's civil liberties, since they claim it violates privacy rights guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. Some may think the actions the government has been doing have been unconstitutional; however that is incorrect, “in situations deemed to be emergencies, executive-branch agencies such as the NSA were entitled to eavesdrop without a warrant” (“Surveillance”).
American citizens deserve the rights given to them and need to fight for the right to keep them by changing privacy laws to include Internet privacy. The American government used to be able to keep the people in happy ignorance to the fact that they watch every move they make. After certain revelations of people like Edward Snowden, the public knows the extent of the government spying. On June 5, 2013 Edward Snowden leaked documents of the NSA to the Guardian (The Guardian 2). The whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed to the world how the American government collects information like cell phone metadata, Internet history, emails, location from phones, and more.
Just a couple years back I would’ve thought conspiracy theorists who say the government is listening in on our conversations were just crazy and delusional. Turns out, those crazy people actually weren’t too far off from the truth. The National Security Agency (NSA) has just recently been put in the limelight by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The NSA was tapping in on every cellular and internet activity in the USA and for paying off foreign officials across the world to conduct surveillance in their government and on their people. To be able to carry out wide-scale surveillance on the entire world requires a lot of power and influence, so how did the NSA carry out such a heavy task?
Many Americans are uncomfortable with the fact that the government can access their personal phone records and other electronic information, but some privacy needs to be sacrificed to save the lives of others. The NSA has successfully prevented over 50 terrorist attacks since 9/11 due to the new surveillance technology being applied (Sullivan). The NSA tracks the location telephone calls were made from, who was being contacted, and the duration of the call (Mukasey). However, this information is just being collected, and not analyzed (Mukasey). When someone contacts a know terrorist organization, or if there is reasonable suspicion that a person is tied to a terrorist plot, the NSA just has to look in its database to find the information it needs to prevent the attack (Turner).
under both the Bush and Obama administration) include but are not limited to: “We’re not collecting data on American citizens”, “Oops. We meant to say we are collecting metadata on all Americans”, “We’re not collecting emails and other private Internet messages from Americans”, “We 're not misusing the personal data that we do collect”, “Okay, our collection of data on Americans has been abused accidentally but never deliberately.” From this it is evident that we cannot even trust our own government. “Without trust, there is no faith. Without faith, there is no relationship. Without no relationship, there is no us.
The NSA should not be invading United States Citizens’ privacy, especially when doing that has not proved to be very effective. The 4th amendment of the constitution says that one cannot be searched without a warrant and the NSA has, and still is, clearly violating that by searching the innocent citizens of the United States and invading their privacy. In 2013 the NSA’s secret surveillance program was revealed publicly. In this secret surveillance program the NSA did things such as collect and store all phone records of American citizens, intercept internet communications of over a billion people worl... ... middle of paper ... ...SA Fact Sheet. N.p., 1 Mar.