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Fighting Terrorism Without Invading Privacy Essay

2207 words - 9 pages

“In the long, twilight struggle against Communism, we had been reminded that the very liberties that we sought to preserve could not be sacrificed at the altar of national security “ (“Obama’s Speech On…” 1). One of these very civil liberties, recently recognized by the United Nations, is the “right to privacy in the digital age”. Although the actions of the United Nations are not legally binding, it is evident that the right to Internet privacy is becoming increasingly important in the international world. Breaches in Internet privacy have become commonplace as Social Security and credit card numbers are stolen along with passwords to bank accounts and social media sites. Breaches in Internet privacy have become especially problematic in countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom where the war on terrorism is a major issue and the Internet is used by a large portion of the population. To resolve the issue of the invasion of technological privacy while continuing to effectively combat terrorism, each country must find a balance between fighting terrorism and surveilling citizens through the use of a 5D plan: deterrence, diplomacy, disclosure, democracy, and defense.
Forty-nine of the 100 most popular websites collect data on the internet through a series ways such as logging in, a mailing list, and user profiles. Yet only 17 included a privacy policy and Election Privacy Information Center (EPIC) found that none were sufficient in protecting Internet privacy. ("Privacy Statistics" 1). Furthermore, EPIC found that one of the most prominent issues of these websites was the frequency that these companies sell personal information to a third party as well as the inability to change personal information. Even more importantly, users lack the ability to permanently delete their private information from the Internet as personal information is saved on the users cache, the viewer’s cache, as well as company servers. For example, Facebook was found to not delete information from their servers every 90 days as claimed placing in jeopardy information of accounts on their serves that have been deactivated for years (“Facebook Does Not…” 1). Currently, there is no solution that deals with Internet privacy as a whole. Although measures have been taken to protect the right to digital privacy, such as the Supreme Court ruling in 1972 that ruled warrantless wiretaps illegal, much of this action has been turned around by post 9/11 legislation such as the Patriot Act which has increased the amount of surveillance the government can enact legally (Issitt 1).
In previous years, net neutrality has been thought of as a breakthrough in the digital age and a good, comprehensive solution that could protect the people right to digital privacy. Net neutrality is the idea of having a basic, decentralized Internet in which all data is treated in the same exact way and transported at the same exact speeds in an anonymous fashion. Forms of net neutrality are...

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