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joey - Surveillance in the modern technological age is a...

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Surveillance in the modern technological age is a hotly contested issue . On the one hand, it is absolutely necessary to maintain citizens’ right to privacy and their protection from illegal search and seizure, a right granted to us by the 4 th amendment . On the other hand, we live in an era where terrorists and criminals are well-equipped to combat law enforcement officials and utilize technology to attack these same citizens? The central issue can be summed up in a single question: Which is more important, citizens’ safety or citizens’ civil liberties? As long as government monitors its usage of surveillance, and doesn’t overstep the boundaries it has placed upon itself, surveillance is an effective tool that can be used to capture terrorists and criminals before criminal acts even occur . There are many threats to the privacy of individuals in America currently . These threats come in the form of data collecting agencies, many of whom are confronted with court cases pressed by the ACLU . The five biggest threats currently in existence, in my opinion, are all government programs dealing with data gathering that appear to infringe on an American’s right to act in any way they wish without being scrutinized by the government . The first such threat is one that is commonly referred to, the Patriot Act . This piece of legislation greatly expands the FBI’s ability to investigate third party information of citizens, going so far as to allowing them to see what books a suspect has checked out from the library(ACLU) . To me, this seems extreme . People should be allowed to read and speak their opinions without being scrutinized by their government, a right to freedom of thought and speech that has been an American ideal since the birth of our nation . Another danger is government surveillance along the line of the TIA, or Total
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Information Awareness .
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