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Online Privacy and the Internet

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More people can reach one another today than in years past because of social networking sites. The world has become a lot smaller because of sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and many others. There are certainly many advantages to using these resourceful social networks, such as keeping up with friends and family, sharing photos, and staying up to date with current events. Nonetheless, there is a growing concern about privacy, or the lack thereof, because of these sites. The ability to determine your privacy settings is at times confusing, and at other times, simply misleading. People you don’t know at all can see what you write and look at the pictures you share. Furthermore, there are children at risk due to the spread of social networking sites and the constant threat of sexual predators. There are constant updates and re-writes in reference to privacy protection, particularly from Facebook. Even more alarming is the possibility of the government looking through your social media profile, photos, and personal page. In 2011, the Department of Homeland Security released a Media Monitoring Initiative reporting that they had given themselves permission to “gather, store, analyze, and disseminate” data on millions of users of social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) and business networking sites (LinkedIn) (Wolverton II, 2012, p. 21). Moving forward, it would appear that in order to use these sites, and others, you must sacrifice a portion of your privacy regardless. Are these challenges merely part of the larger equation of social networking, or is there a way to fix the problem? The outcry on the attack on privacy stems from several sources. First, there are those that are concerned about the governme...

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... person can do except for monitoring what they allow to be put online. Yet there is hope for those staunchly against the online spying program. In (future elections), an educated electorate may select candidates running for election to Congress who will pass a law permanently revoking the Department of Homeland Security’s power to carry out the mission outlined in the Media Monitoring Initiative (Wolverton II, 2012, p. 24). Finally, all Americans should understand that their privacy is at risk anytime they put information on a computer or smart phone, and it will be this way for the foreseeable future.

Works Cited

Jakes, L. a. (2013, June 9). US Intelligence Chief Defends Online Spying. The Canadian Press , pp. 3-5.
Shulevitz, J. (2013). Big Mother is Watching You. New Republic , pp. 12-13.
Wolverton II, J. (2012). Social Spying. New American , pp. 21-24.
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