How would you feel if I told you that everything you do when you think you are alone is being viewed? At home when you are having you time. In the car when you may be singing loudly but maybe not in tune to your favorite songs, at work, school, everywhere. Well you are, but it is not just you. The whole country is being watched without being given any warning or permission the government has decided for us that what is best is that the monitor our every move.
Since we have become aware of this information there has been so much controversy as to whether or not this is right. Can the government really spy on us without permission? There are those who are outraged and upset and say that this in violation of our rights and they should shut this down immediately. Then there are others who say that the government can do whatever they want and that no one should really be upset or worried about anything if they do not have anything to hide. Whether they like it or not we are and will continue to be watched.
One of the few things everyone seems to agree on is that they are invading our privacy and taking away all of our a civil rights piece by piece, but to those who are okay with the government basically stalking the lives of all Americans say that in many ways the surveillance will have its advantages. Yes we may feel violated or uncomfortable and worried with surveillance but there are advantages so that we can be less worried about crime in our country. Every day we hear of someone being murdered, robbed, assaulted or missing, we even get occasional rape victim. With the system now underway we will no longer hear of a lot of these things happening because our society will be more maintained because the government will be able to enforce the law more effectively. Those who are wrong in our country are most likely to think twice of committing a crime if they are aware that we are under surveillance and for those who feel that they can still outsmart the legal system it will be easier for them to get caught because they were being monitored anyway.
Crime was not the only advantage listed as a benefit for us when it came to us being spied on. It is also said to be able to help conserve the earth’s resources. “It allows the government officials to monitor how much waste each company produces, and how much of that is being processed and thrown away. This leads to better accountability and officials are able to pinpoint which company exceeds the amount of waste that is allowed to be thrown away or emitted (Tom Pride). So not only will we benefit from the surveillance but somehow benefit them looking over us and listening in on our lives.
Being to mold the younger generation also came as a benefit. Tom Pride said, “Molding our future generation allows us to keep track of what our younger generation is doing, thus allowing us to filter what they are learning. This would ensure that what they are learning is right and does not deviate from social norms.” He then goes into explaining about a computer that tracks the younger generation online. He says, “There is this computer soft ware that records down all the websites that a computer has visited and all of the instant messages being sent or received. That way, parents are able to know what their children are doing on the internet and able to prevent them from being hurt from people with malicious intents such as predators.” So even your children will benefit by being safer line and parents will be more knowledgeable about what their children are doing online they will be able to be aware of anyone their child is having conversation with and what is being because of the government surveillance system.
While there seem to be many benefits of this system there are still those who are not as convinced as others when it comes to being watched and although they agree there are few advantages they still say the disadvantages are just as important to look into as the advantages in the system. One main thing this article points out is the importance of privacy and how if they invade that privacy much of what America stands for will no longer be the same.
“It is not only those that have something to hide that have something to fear, something to protect (house of lord p103).” This quote is mainly stating that just because some may not have things to hide or feel guilty about does not mean that there aren’t other things in their lives things in their lives that they would rather not have someone else looking into. By the government constantly being there and seeing everything they do not only see the bad things that they need to like robberies or terrorist conversations, they are also viewing and listening in on very personal and private things that most people would not like them to see or hear.
They then go on to say that privacy is not the only invasion we should worry about we should also be worrying about our freedom this country is known for our freedom and our rights we have the right to do certain things and we have the right to our privacy, if the government is looking in on us they are in a way robbing us of our freedom to do some certain things and as well as our rights.
A very important disadvantage of this system that was said in the article was discrimination it said, “Moves are already underway to try to identify children who may grow up into one of the 20% of adults who are believed to have commit 80% crime. This involves analyzing circumstantial risk factors such as family members’ criminal records. This runs the real risk that children are stigmatized from an early age and however well behaved they may be are trusted with suspicion (p3).” So children from a young age are being looked at as criminals even if they have not done anything wrong only because they are related to those who have committed crimes. People are being victimized and discriminated for a reason that they have no control over. This can be a disadvantage because if the government is heavily watching a person for a reason like this they can miss other signs in other places.
Government officials should not be able to invade our privacy by listening in on everything that we do. Many things are made for just us and the people in our lives to know, even if it is not something that may be illegal it is still something that is important to us. Having the NSA view this whenever they feel necessary is in violation of our rights and although there are some benefits to the system we should really ask ourselves is all of this worth our freedom? Should we honestly allow them to monitor us as if we are the terrorists ourselves? We are sacrificing more and more every day, the government says things are for our benefit the more we the people seem to suffer. There are many benefits to and the surveillance could do some good but there is too much at stake in the end.
Work Cited Page
House of Lords. “Advantages and Disadvantages of Surveillance and the Use of Personal Data.” (n.d.): n. pag. Www.parliament.uk. Web. <http://www.pulblicaions.parliament.uk/pa/id200809/idselect/idconst/18/1805.htm>.
Pride, Tom. “The Benefits of Surveillance Technology and Its Various Forms.” (n.d.): n. pag. Web.