Does the concept of privacy even exist in this day and age? The right to privacy has been something almost expected in the past – with the right to privacy being considered a natural right. However, with recent advancements in technology, the ability to keep one 's privacy has become a challenge. Moreover, even one 's government is capable of secretly monitoring every action performed by its citizens. Many nations grant some form of privacy to its citizens – written in either their laws or constitution; but, how can they expect those laws to have any merit if their own government does not follow through with them.
This essay will focus on the effects of government surveillance as it relates to protecting the privacy of its citizens as well as the general safety of its citizens. This essay will look at the importance of privacy, if the government 's actions violate the constitution, and if these actions provide some benefit to the citizens of the country. The country of focus will be on the United States (U.S) as it is the most relevant to me.
The main organization that deals with security in the U.S. is the National Security Agency (NSA). According to the NSA, their core values are honesty, respect for the law, integrity, and transparency (National Secuity Agency | Central Security Service, 2016). These values give us insight into how they will operate on an ethical level when accomplishing their stated goals:
It is this expertise – from our people and technology – that allows us to accomplish the goals of discovering adversaries’ secrets, protecting U.S. secrets, and outmaneuvering our adversaries in cyberspace while at the same time protecting the privacy rights of the American people (National Secuity Agency | Central...
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... deals with information gathering. It “provides the executive branch with enhanced and largely uncheck surveillance and intelligence gathering ability, including tracking e-mail and Internet use and obtaining sensitive personal records” (Marguilis, 2003), all without the need of a warrant. This act was a huge blow in maintaining privacy because it completely removes any control one has on private information and removes any knowledge of when their privacy is being breached. However, this act also allows “facilitated information sharing and cooperation among government agencies” in order to track and catch terrorist more effectively (The USA Patriot Act). Is privacy more important than safety? After the 9/11 attacks, people valued safety more than privacy and the Patriot’s Act was passed almost unanimously, Senate 98-1 and House 357-66 (The USA Patriot Act).
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