Should Citizens Give Up Some of their Privacy in Return for Greater Security?

Should Citizens Give Up Some of their Privacy in Return for Greater Security?

by kem_pel added 1 year ago

Yes Add Point
  • It’s been known for quite a while now that the NSA (National Security Agency) has been collecting metadata on average, everyday Americans; which is an ostensible privacy violation. However, despite this, it is clear that the collection of metadata has been a fairly fruitless endeavor. Indeed, a research paper on the topic found that metadata collection had “no discernible impact” on National Security whatsoever (1). This just goes to show that unnecessary violations of privacy are often just that: unnecessary and should be disallowed.


    by cgraham added 1 year ago 1 0

    Often times, people arguing against privacy rights will mention that if you’re not committing a crime, then you have nothing to hide. This argument, however, woefully misunderstands the purpose of privacy rights. For one, the argument suggests that criminals are the only people who need/want privacy (1). Second, the argument seems to suggest that every individual is and should be treated as guilty until proven innocent; a concept that is the direct opposite of what America maintains is fair and equitable (2).



    by cgraham added 1 year ago 2 0

    The juxtaposition between privacy and security is perhaps a false dichotomy. In many ways, privacy is a complement to security and security a complement to privacy. The real dichotomy is between liberty and control (1). Since massive attempts to thwart terrorism have largely failed, it stands to reason that sacrificing privacy for security will – as Benjamin Franklin said – give us neither. In truth, it seems as though the best way to combat terrorism is to use the tools we have available right now which have proven their efficacy.



    by cgraham added 1 year ago 1 0

    1. Privacy is a right guaranteed by the 4th Amendment, "secure in our persons & papers..." Papers are notes, diaries, to one's self & communications with others. These can be seized only by a lawfully obtained & executed warrant upon probable cause. This would reasonably include electronic communication.

    2. We are now living under a Gov't which has the ability & desire to collect the maximum information on not only its enemies, but potential enemies, citizens, & even the cell phones of the heads of state of friendly allies. How has this worked out ? Have any terror threats been thwarted?  I do not believe so. Has this been a national embarrassment? Definitely, as in the case of Merkel of Germany. Have they bothered to even get easy warrants from their rubber stamp special court? In many cases they have not.

    3. A surveillance state facilitates a tyrannical state which historically in turn always seeks greater surveillance. Our Gov't views the average citizen as a potential threat, which in a Tyranny, we are a threat. According to a Princeton study, the USA is no longer a Democracy, but an Oligarchy-- "rule by the few." When in history have the few ever voluntarily given up their illegally obtained power (which the Oligarch illegally did) compared to how often they have sought more, & sometimes ruthlessly ?

    4. Can we trust our own Gov't? Has giving any Gov't more power ever worked out for the best for the commoners? Please cite an example as I know of none. The American Gov't in particular has a very long record of lies, deception, & starting wars for profit & empire and caring little for the lives of its soldiers & citizens. They broke every Indian treaty, they lied to attack North Viet Nam (Tonkin Gulf), Grenada (student lives were not in danger). Nicarauguan Sandanistas were illegally funded by Reagan through drug deals where the CIA smuggled cocains into LA. Iraq had nothing to do  with 9/11 acording to Bush 2 himself, & had no WMD. And 9/11 itself is surrounded by huge inconsistencies & legitimate doubts. At the best it was gross incompetance, at the worst it was our Gov't itself who did it. We have no doubt that the Russian Gov't blew up their own apartment buildings to justify a war with Chenya. Can we be certain our Gov't is actually less corrupt? For example, did any Bankers go to jail for the massive, economy crippling housing crash/fraud? If we are not very real potential enemies, then why do have heavily militarized Police? What are they preparing for & against whom? The Swiss?

    5. I believe it was Jefferson who said that those who give up their Liberty for Security will deserve & wind up with neither. I believe our Gov't should be closely surveilled, not the citizens. But those who have& exposed the lies & corruption, like Assange & Snowden had to flee for their lives & freedom. These are the reasons why Gov't surveillance powers should be greatly reduced & hevily monitored, not increased, because it threatens our security, not increases it. Our own Gov't is better positioned to take our Freedoms more so than any Terrorists, & has more to gain. And it creates genuine suspicions of desiring to do so.

    by michaeloff added 1 year ago 1 0

    The question itself is ambiguous enough to distract from its actual implications. Let's dissect it into three parts:

    • "Should citizens give up"
    • "some of their privacy"
    • "in return for greater security?"

    The first part is important here. "Give up" implies that privacy is something one owns as an extension of the self, rather than a privilege that may be revoked. That is, the right to spatial or intellectual privacy is something inherent to self autonomy, i.e. freedom from interference or unwanted proximal contact with an external body. The opening "should" implies consent. But if privacy is inherent to self autonomy, then consent can only be given on an individual basis, not by any collective democratic decision. The argument often presented by the other side - "if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide" - falls apart on this basis, because, of course, if you have something to hide, you aren't going to consent. Considering this, one sees this opening section as redundant; we are not actually being asked to give up our privacy - we are being asked whether or not to object to its blanket violation for a common good. One must ask, then, what exact violation we are choosing to object to.. which leads me nicely on to...

    the second part. What exactly is "some of their privacy" in this context? According to kem_pel, a supporter of the Yes side, the realms of monitoring are not focused on the individual, but upon certain spatial domains, such as "unindexed material" like child pornography websites. His suggestion can be simplified thus: if you walk into the path of a CCTV camera, you forfeit the privacy of your actions within that space. Indeed, certain domains must be monitored in order to keep track of criminal behaviour, and those who enter these domains forfeit their right to privacy by doing so. But this is not what is being requested. Read: citizenstheir privacy... we are not being asked to forfeit privacy in certain domains. We are being asked, as previously, whether we object to the violation of our personal privacy, an inherent right as an extension of personal autonomy. As a continuation of the metaphor, this is tantamount to having a CCTV camera installed upon our forehead. In practice, this could include, and is not limited to the monitoring of: all online communications and browsing activity, phonecalls and texts, card transactions, personal affiliations with people and groups... and so on. Obviously, "some" is not specified here, but suffice to say that justification for "some" can as easily be justification for much or all, depending on what purpose you are collecting this data for... which leads me finally to...

    the third part. This part is almost irrelevant. If the purpose of collection is general security (with no specified threat), if just one person objects to the blanket surveillance this entails, that surveillance is rendered illegitimate. If the purpose of collection is specific, targetting domains (kem_pel's "unindexed materials", for example) is more effective and less intrusive a method than the blanket monitoring or recording implicit in the question. What domains are legitimate for state monitoring is a separate debate.

    The conclusion here is a rewording of a misleading question, argued for on the Yes side by irrelevant points. The rewording is thus: Should an individual accept any measure of personal surveillance of their actions by the state under any circumstance? The answer, obviously, is no.

    by Harleygator added 1 year ago 2 0