Carnivore: The Power Of FBI Surveillance Abstract: This paper provides an analysis of the privacy issues associated with governmental Internet surveillance, with a focus on the recently disclosed FBI tool known as Carnivore. It concludes that, while some system of surveillance is necessary, more mechanisms to prevent abuse of privacy must exist. Communication surveillance has been a controversial issue in the US since the 1920's, when the Supreme Court deemed unwarranted wiretaps legitimate in the case of Olmstead v United States. Since telephone wires ran over public grounds, and the property of Olmstead was not physically violated, the wiretap was upheld as lawful.
The idea of privacy protection for private citizens is rooted in history back to the Magna Carta. With the passage of time and the evolution of communication the laws of the United States have attempted to ensure a balance between security of the nation and protecting privacy. The current state of privacy and the law is now in a state of flux as citizens have begun to rely more and more on technological means of communication and have integrated privacy invading technology into their daily lives. It is not uncommon today for the average citizen to have all their conversations and movements tracked and stored into massive electronic databases simply because they carry a cell phone. The use of the internet as a means of communication and commerce adds further to the data collection activities as online banking, bill paying, shopping, and social networks become the norm. In a post 9/11 world this data is now captured, mined, and analyzed to create profiles of citizens to be used in both the private and public sectors to look for illegal activities like terrorism the drug trade, and even larceny. How the laws of the United States apply to keeping this data private while protecting citizens from harm is the goal of this report.
The issue on privacy is extremely controversial in today’s world. As the United States’ use of the internet, a global web of interconnected computer networks, expands, so does its problem with privacy invasion. With the U.S. pushing for new laws governing internet use, citizens are finding their privacy being pulled right from underneath them. Web users are buying and selling personal information online as well as hacking users for more information. One may argue that there is no such thing as privacy on the internet, but privacy is a right among Americans, and should be treated as such.
Edward Snowden is America’s most recent controversial figure. People can’t decide if he is their hero or traitor. Nevertheless, his leaks on the U.S. government surveillance program, PRISM, demand an explanation. Many American citizens have been enraged by the thought of the government tracing their telecommunication systems. According to factbrowser.com 54% of internet users would rather have more online privacy, even at the risk of security (Facts Tagged with Privacy). They say it is an infringement on their privacy rights of the constitution. However, some of them don’t mind; they believe it will help thwart the acts of terrorists. Both sides make a good point, but the inevitable future is one where the government is adapting as technology is changing. In order for us to continue living in the new digital decade, we must accept the government’s ability to surveil us.
Lastly, if we give people the ability to protect their privacy, then they need to be educated on the subject. If we have laws and regulations put into place to protect everyone’s privacy, that isn’t going to make a difference if they don’t realize that when they allow apps to track their location, then their privacy laws all go out the window. When people are posting all sorts of personal information online for everyone to see, then they need to realize that they themselves are the culprit of their privacy being destroyed. We must start teaching everyone about the New World, cyber-space, and the suggested precautions that they should be carrying out to help protect themselves and their privacy within this New World.
To begin, consider how countries handle the privacy of individuals in general, not exclusively in the electronic environment. Most countries around the world protect an individual’s right to privacy in some respects, because “privacy is a fundamental human right that has become one of the most important human rights of the modern age”2. Definitions for privacy vary according to context and environment. For example, in the United States Justice Louis Brandeis defined privacy as the “right to be left alone”3. In the United Kingdom, privacy is “the right of an individual to be protected against intrusion into his personal life or affairs…by direct physical means or by publication of information”4. Australian legislation states that “privacy is a basic human right and the reasonable expectation of every person”5. Regardless of varying definitio...
When we mention the word ‘privacy’, we mean that there is something very personal about ourselves. Something that we think others are not supposed to know, or, we do not want them to. Nevertheless, why is it so? Why are people so reluctant to let others know about them entirely? This is because either they are afraid of people doing them harm or they are scared that people may treat them differently after their secrets are known. Without privacy, the democratic system that we know would not exist. Privacy is one of the fundamental values on which our country was established. Moreover, with the internet gaining such popularity, privacy has become a thing of the past. People have come to accept that strangers can view personal information about them on social networking sites such as Facebook, and companies and the government are constantly viewing a person’s activity online for a variety of reasons. From sending email, applying for a job, or even using the telephone, Americans right to privacy is in danger. Personal and professional information is being stored, link, transferred, shared, and even sold. Various websites, the government and its agencies, and hospitals are infringing our privacy without our permission or knowledge.
How would you feel if every move you make, every word you say, every number you dial on the telephone, could easily be accessed or monitored by just about anyone in the world? Well, chances are that you and me and many others are currently, or have been, victims of this infringement on privacy. With today's ever growing technology, there is little one can do to ensure privacy in normal, every day life. Even though many benefits have come with this increased technology, the inherent loss of privacy scares many. In most cases, the use of such technology is taken too far, and if continued use of these technologies is to be permitted, then the law has some serious catching up to do to ensure proper use of them.
The personal connection Americans have with their phones, tablets, and computers; and the rising popularity of online shopping and social websites due to the massive influence the social media has on Americans, it is clear why this generation is called the Information Age, also known as Digital Age. With the Internet being a huge part of our lives, more and more personal data is being made available, because of our ever-increasing dependence and use of the Internet on our phones, tablets, and computers. Some corporations such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook; governments, and other third parties have been tracking our internet use and acquiring data in order to provide personalized services and advertisements for consumers. Many American such as Nicholas Carr who wrote the article “Tracking Is an Assault on Liberty, With Real Dangers,” Anil Dagar who wrote the article “Internet, Economy and Privacy,” and Grace Nasri who wrote the article “Why Consumers are Increasingly Willing to Trade Data for Personalization,” believe that the continuing loss of personal privacy may lead us as a society to devalue the concept of privacy and see privacy as outdated and unimportant. Privacy is dead and corporations, governments, and third parties murdered it for their personal gain not for the interest of the public as they claim. There are more disadvantages than advantages on letting corporations, governments, and third parties track and acquire data to personalized services and advertisements for us.
The world today is an internet age where there is life in and outside of the web. Outside of the internet people enjoy everything America has to offer, entertainment and job wise. Within people use the internet and social networks to contact friends and coworkers. The internet has become a tool for numerous things; so much it is unknown what people would truly do without it. The invention is so powerful and convenient, it is inevitably becoming corrupt. When the government and corporations see it as a useful spying and marketing tool, the internet is no longer such a good place to be. The public discovers of government and corporations acting to track people through whistle-blowers and mistakes made when the they snoop. The U.S. Constitution and other articles will provide a basis to assert that the government and corporations have no right to any information about a citizen unless that citizen specifically chooses to give the information, and it can only be used for the purpose specified by the citizen, otherwise the act of doing so is unconstitutional.