Let’s Fight For Our Privacy

After reading the cases Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade and Bowers v. Hardwick, it got me thinking about privacy and how much the government controls our lives in all actuality. They not only create policy for our safety and benefit of our communities, state, or nation, but they also have law enforcement carry out these laws and policies. The government gives us a social security number the day we are registered and that is our number for life. We believe that we live in a free country, but how much freedom do we actually have? Granted we do have more freedom compared to other countries, but how much more? It made me realize that even if we are in the land of the free, we still are fighting for the right of privacy.

What kind of privacy are we fighting for? The right to text, write, send emails, navigate the internet and call freely to our family and friends without the government wiretapping us like Nixon with his Watergate scandal. We might be fighting for the right of privacy to not participate in the census and say what your ethnicity is, or fill out what your ethnicity is in national exams. Possibly the right to do as we wish in the privacy of our own home and lives. How long and how far will we allow the government go in controlling our private lives?

The attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001 were horrific and opened the eyes of all the citizens living in the United Sates. We realized that we had to become stricter in all forms of homeland security to not only protect our citizens, but our entire nation as well. The Patriot Act was implemented by President George W. Bush in which the government would be able to use technology to tap into citizen technology. To explicate the government can tap into text messages, phone calls or emails in order to prevent possible terror acts. People were fine with it because they were hurt after the attacks. The citizens, including my mother, understood that we were in danger, our national security was first. If you would like to read more about the Patriot Act, below is a link for more information.

http://www.justice.gov/archive/ll/highlights.htm

Now, we have news reports on phone companies listening into our conversations or keeping an archive of our text messages. Below is a link to the CNN report of the Verizon scandal in which the Patriot Act is involved. The government can look at our emails, read our internet posts and so on. Yes, the government is in the right to look into our things for national security but some of it is too much. Especially when the government can check your debit and credit card purchases, why do they need to do that when you are innocent? Are we okay with this? Do we need this? Is it time to fight back and protect our privacy once again like these cases did to the Supreme Court?

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/06/us/patriot-act-verizon/

 I think we should step up and fight for our right of privacy especially dealing with technology. As a wise man once said, “They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety,” (Benjamin Franklin). We did exactly what Benjamin Franklin said not to do. After the 9.11 attacks, we gave up our liberty for the sake of the Patriot Act just for that little bit of security to catch terrorists and find out of potential attacks. Now, we do not deserve neither liberty no safety because many of our citizens have lost the nerve to fight for what they believe in. Our blood no longer boils when we find out about injustice or something is happing against us, instead we live our lives like busy little ants in our colonies. At times many people do not vote or create change because they think someone else will do it for them, someone else will spark that change. Granted, there are some people who are activists for change and they assemble every weekend or every day to promote change, but it is not enough. Below are links of amazing activist groups fighting for the right of privacy in the internet and an article about freedom in the United States.

http://www.popularresistance.org/international-day-of-protest-stop-watching-us/

http://www.popularresistance.org/u-s-plummets-in-global-press-freedom-rankings/

We must stand up! I believe we have to stand up for the change we want, in this case, fight for our privacy. I believe the government has no right listening to my conversation with my mother, read my email to my cousin in Texas, or check what I am purchasing at the mall. I deserve liberty that this country was founded upon and will utilize that liberty to speak my mind about these acts of injustice.   

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6 Responses to Let’s Fight For Our Privacy

  1. haleyschryver says:

    I liked the quote from Franklin you included; I think it summed up your post perfectly. It is really alarming to me how many people in this country aren’t concerned about privacy. It seems like a great number of people are just fine with the government being involved in their private life. I think this is almost a bigger problem than this issue of privacy itself.

  2. mernasyawish says:

    I think every individual has a different perception and definition of “privacy”. Where do people draw the line with regards to their privacy? Some feel as comfortable as the government listening in on their phone calls or reading their personal emails. Others draw the line at specific purchase records they have. Both of these viewpoints concern me. I do think there is a limit to what the government does with our personal information, however, things like purchases we have made and the dates in which we made them aren’t a problem and I think people who think that’s a problem are too over sensitive. I understand that privacy is a huge issue in this country, but if you compare our privacy rights with other countries, especially those in the Middle East, we are very lucky. Again, there is always a limit, no argument there, but, there is also a limit with being over sensitive.

    • zoneofsubduction says:

      Why should we, as a nation, define ourselves by the standards of other nations and their cultures? It is not a compliment to the other nation and they do not reciprocate. Luck has absolutely nothing to do with it either. The American Revolution was not an exercise in statistical probability, but a bloody revolt for individual liberty and minimalist State intrusion into the privacy of the person.

      “Where the state begins, individual liberty ceases, and vice versa.” – Mikhail Bakunin.

  3. eifiguer says:

    I really enjoyed your post, and the Benjamin Franklin quote. Although I don’t agree with you, the points you made were valid. I know it is difficult to give up some individual privacy for the safety of the whole. We give up freedoms to the government in order to be governed. I believe that if we did not give up those freedoms it would seem almost impossible to form a government that could perform the duties of protection. There is the possibility that individuals within the government could use their job software in order to spy on others, that’s very probable and there have been cases of it. But how many individuals would risk this type of behavior for the possibility of loosing their job? I enjoy the freedoms I do have and if you’re not to concerned about being a suspect of something I don’t think it should be that big a deal to give up some privacy in order to feel more safe. Because if I’m being monitored, the people around me are also being monitored.

  4. kdmflag says:

    I stand by your call to action to increase the participation for standing up against broad surveillance of national citizens by our government, and agree with you on the Patriot Act as being impetus to the woes of our current lack of privacy. I also agree that we as a people should draft strong legislation aimed at creating new personal and communication privacy laws. For the span of American national history, we as a people have rested uneasily under the penumbra of slowly developing privacy guidelines, as we found solace in the ability to keep private what we personal through the mail or conventional phone call. However, the exponential growth and ubiquitous integration of technology has seemingly eliminated all privacy barriers in a very short time. The amount of data collected and analyzed in a short time is astounding, and the depth of invasion can be shocking.
    If you are as concerned by this lack of privacy, I encourage you to take immediate action. Mid-term elections are in 6 months, find candidates who support your beliefs and campaign your shared ideas. Outrage without action is mental masturbation.

    Here is a link providing rudimentary information on the 2014 Arizona election:

    http://arizona.state-election.info/

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