Personal Privacy or National Security

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Personal Privacy or National Security
William Shelton
ENG122: English Composition
Prof. Lisa Clark
August 7, 2012

Defining National Security VS Personal Privacy is a matter of looking at the basic nature of each. From research collected there is a consensus that we need balance. Too much of one hurts the other and vise versa. There are a couple of articles that range from Civil Liberties to the birth of public right to know that support the overall claim. Talks about the effects of censorship in different situations like war and peace will help prove that a balance needs to be forged. The problem here isn’t the definition of personal vs national security, but the survival of each in light of each other. There is history in our nation that explains why impinging on privacy may not be in the best interest of national security or of an individual. Also we will look at when it is appropriate for national security to impinge on personal privacy. You can’t have both without upsetting the balance of all. The claim is that too much national security will limit or demolish personal privacy. Also the same for too much personal privacy or liberty will limit or demolish security. So the question would be “does less personal privacy increase National Security?” My thesis is that too much National Security can destroy a government from the inside out by invading privacy. Democracy can’t trample on freedoms given the people for fear that a democracy no longer exists. “As Lee Strickland (2005) indicates, that ‘Civil liberties are not an obstacle; they’re a vital part of our strength. (P.1.)’” This creates a civil uprising that increases the national threat. It is human nature to inquire of forbidden practices. This is more so the case when laws designed to protect are exploited. An example in recent time is the global war on terrorism or GWOT. The events of 9/11 in September of 2001 opened up panic that the government took advantage of. A short term plan of action is what was needed. But when this action becomes long term policy that replaces laws to protect personal privacy the fabric of our democracy is threatened. On 17 September 2001 an article titled, “Privacy VS Safety” addressed the immediate concern for plans to protect the American people. “Larry Ponemon talked about compromising privacy to fight terrorist attacks. The public welcomed it. That previous Thursday the senate passed a verbal vote on allowing the government to monitor technology with the installation of a system to survey private phones, computer and wireless devices for 48 hours. (S. Olsen, E. Hansen, 2001, P. 1).” This continues today in the pursuit of terrorist around the world. Does less privacy create a more secure nation? Patterns like this aren’t a new concept and can be followed in time. The very foundation of our country was built upon new freedoms from government. We separated Church from state for the freedom of religion. We created the three branches of government for its checks and balances for the simple fact that it wasn’t suppose to take over the lives of our nation. Slowly over our short history we can see the fight to freedom for everyone to include; slavery, women voters, racial discrimination and age. One that relates to personal rights is the ‘Privacy Act of 1974’. It establishes a standard for protection of personal information. Our legal system is based on being innocent till proven guilty. “I agree with the statement of misguided security steps because, as Lee Strickland (2005) relates, talks about how our security steps will fail if the public doesn’t believe in them. (P. 1.)” I found that the truth eventual comes out and it will be brought to the surface. Think about our Civil War. A nation divided over slavery and only half the nation believed it. The other felt so strongly about it that it created war. Now we are searching or monitoring people without cause. You can find youtube video’s on extensive or invasive body...
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