Persuasive Essay On Government Surveillance

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Current advancements in technology has given the government more tools for surveillance and thus leads to growing concerns for privacy. The two main categories of surveillance technologies are the ones that allow the government to gather information where previously unavailable or harder to obtain, and the ones that allow the government to process public information more quickly and efficiently (Simmons, 2007). The first category includes technologies like eavesdropping devices and hidden cameras. These are clear offenders of privacy because they are capable of gathering information while being largely unnoticed. The second category would include technologies that are used in a public space, like cameras in a public park. While these devices…show more content…
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson thinks that people should be able to choose what areas they want to be secure from “physical and sense-enhancing invasion.” Another scholar, Joel Reidenbuerg, believes that current views of privacy do not fit well with the current technology, instead surveillance is dependent on “the nature of the acts being surveilled.” One more scholar, Chris Slobogin, believes that “the justification for a search should be roughly proportional to the intrusiveness of the search” (Hartzog, 2015). Point is, legal issues surrounding government surveillance is a complex topic without a perfect all-encompassing solution; each situation is different and should be treated…show more content…
The government must prove that the records are relevant and helpful in capturing a target first, but essentially the government can make a company give them private information.
One example would be the NSA collecting telephone billing records, but “it does not intercept the content of the call, nor does it know the identity of the subscriber” (YOO, 2014). They were only interested in tracking phone numbers of suspect Al Qaeda members who send messages back home in order to show “probable cause” to the FISC. In this case, there was not really any invasion of privacy as the contents of the calls and the names of the caller were not revealed. It was only done to prove someone had connections to Al Qaeda and then it would be considered probable cause to investigate further.
Collecting metadata on phone calls does not violate the Fourth Amendment in anyway. The Fourth Amendment only protects the “rights in the content of communication, but not in their addressing information” (YOO, 2014). In the Smith v Maryland case, the supreme court ruled that calling information is not protected under the Fourth Amendment because phone users voluntarily hand over their information, to the phone company, and personal privacy cannot be expected once handed over to someone else (YOO,
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