Nowadays, our country has terrorist threats once in a while and more often than we expect. That’s why the U.S government allows the National Security Agency(NSA) to look over messages, texts, phone calls, and even personal information of every user on the Internet.

Well, in simple terms this seems no problem at all, as long as we are protected, what would be the problem? But everything changes when we think about them violating the right of privacy that lies  in the fourth amendment which bans unreasonable “search and seizure”. When the government collects and shares information about its citizens, it is conducting an electronic version of such banned searches, even though other sources argue that the most important job of government is to “secure the general welfare” of its citizens. Also,according to those sources, the word “privacy” is not found in the US Constitution so it cannot be claimed as a fundamental right.

This is a huge polemic in our society right now. Our government needs to be able to track our actions in order to protect us, but without meddling in our affairs. The worst part is that the line between them is very thin, and it is hard to know how much is too much.However, none of us know what exactly they look at, when they do it nor how deep in they go.“Americans understand that we need to give due weight to both privacy and national security. But right now, Americans aren’t getting even the most basic information about what’s going on with the NSA’s surveillance programs, and whether or not their privacy is being violated,” Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota.

This problem does not only end in the NSA, but also in international espionage. In theory, if our government can do it, other countries most likely will do it. Spyware and tracking cookies collect data about our search history, our age, location, interests, friends, items we liked but didn’t purchase and the amount of time we spend on a website.

According to Col. Cedric Leighton, former deputy director of training at the NSA, “People have to realize that cell phones are really miniature radios. Their broadcasts are vulnerable to interception and that means conversations can be picked up by unauthorized third parties if they have the right equipment. In fact, many foreign intelligence and police forces have the ‘right equipment’ to conduct such operations with some degree of success.” And the truth is that, as long as we are online, we could potentially be tracked at all times.

In conclusion, we have to be aware of the actions that our government does in order to “protect” us but without violation our rights;we have to draw a clear line between privacy and security; we have to be aware what they do with that information; we have also to be aware of the espionage from other countries, and, most important of all, we have to be aware of the uses we give to the Internet, the things we share on social media, the personal information we publish on the Web, etc. In my opinion, it is too early to come up with a solution, but what we can do is be sure that nothing there is on the Web would be used against us.   

CC BY-SA 4.0 Security vs. Privacy by Hector is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

8 Comments
  1. Justin 12 months ago

    Hi Hector,
    Nice Article, it was quite interesting to think about. However, in my view, safety is more important than privacy. If what they’re doing works, then I think that the ends justify the means. While terrorist attacks do still happen, gathering intelligence had proved to be one of the most effective methods of reducing them as much as possible. All you have to do here is all yourself this question: would you really trade your privacy for your life?

  2. Talmadge 12 months ago

    Hector, I like your topic and I agree with your opinion on it. I believe that there is a line between privacy and protection, which the government violates profusely with agencies like the NSA. Do you know of any evidence that proves mass surveillance can prevent terrorism, because despite their “efforts”, terrorist attacks still occur within the United States.

  3. Lula 12 months ago

    Hector, I’ve always wanted to do more research on how the government overseas all of our actions. I wonder if they can see everything we do, or do they just pick and choose random times at which they monitor our activities. The reality at hand here is that we, as citizens, don’t really know what the government is doing with our information and how they are doing it. All we know is that they are monitoring us. The line between keeping citizens safe and invasion of privacy is very thin in this case. I just want the government to come up with a technique of surveillance that doesn’t involve invasion of privacy.

  4. Dave 12 months ago

    It’s pretty interesting that when we chose between privacy and security, we must sacrifice one for the the other. They can’t seem to coexist.

  5. Mayree 12 months ago

    I think it is crazy that we are watched even when we believe we are not. I agree with you Hector that there should be alternate ways of keeping track and protecting us but with privacy being applied. The real question is what could that way possibly be? How can we know who is on our side if don’t know what going one?

  6. Louis 1 year ago

    Hector, you have certainly tapped into a hot issue. This is definitely an issue that is often overlooked in today’s society. I think it will be interesting to see how Trump’s ideas of “Law and Order” will affect the infringement on citizens’ rights to privacy. As it is, there is a lot of controversy as to how far the NSA should be able to go to try to find threats. Very well done!

  7. Ian 1 year ago

    Nice post and Its definitely an issue isn’t it?

  8. Andrew 1 year ago

    Hector,
    I agree with your little assertion that there is a very thin line between the Government protecting us, and being Big Brother. However, the Government may invade our privacy, but they don’t make a profit off of it. Facebook and Google likely know more about you than your close friends and family. Facebook and Google make money by selling all the information they have on you. They sell our information to companies that then do very planned advertising. Facebook uses advanced algorithms to help determine a plethora of factors that they can then combine into a package of all the information on you. Their algorithms can determine more about you than you would think. They can determine your sexual orientation before you yourself are eve aware of it ( Julia, Angwin. Dragnet Nation; Ch 12). The level at which corporations like Google and Facebook collect and analyze our information and then sell it, is unprecedented. It might be scary to think about how much power the NSA has and how deep they go into our private lives, but they don’t do much with the information. Google and Facebook make Billions of dollars off our private information.
    Recommended videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pFX2P7JLwA&t=131s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPBH1eW28mo

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