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Government Spying Essay

1129 words - 5 pages

Government Surveillance is a rising privacy issue with many pros and cons from an ethical standpoint. Although technological surveillance has stopped many crimes, there have been many instances where federal agencies have taken advantage of the average U.S. citizen. There are numerous types of government surveillance; all of them under laws that either protect the federal agencies that use surveillance or the citizens they are spying on.
Government surveillance is the monitoring of individuals through technology. The different methods that the government monitors the average citizen range from tracking personal items such as phone calls, emails and web usage, and text messages to ...view middle of the document...

This law creates guidelines that the top-secret organizations such as the FBI, NSA, and CIA have to follow. By creating this law, it comforts the citizens of America to know that the government cannot take away the privacy of an individual.
CALEA is the law passed in 1994 that supports surveillance. CALEA stands for Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act. This act “requires that digitally switched telephone networks be designed and built with wiretap capabilities and that service providers assist law enforcement agencies in obtaining surveillance. This was the first major act that required companies to assist in technological surveillance.
Government surveillance is still a raging issue discussed in many conversations. Some people believe that government surveillance is wrong and an invasion of privacy, while other people think that privacy is a small price to pay for protection from criminals.
“Following the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001 … the United States government ramped up a massive data collection campaign that effectively claimed privacy right have become another casualty of the War on Terror” (Allen 1). Although terrorism has been the major point given as support for government surveillance, there are many different pros of government surveillance. Some of these pros include protecting innocent people in criminal investigations, catching criminals that left non or cooperating witnesses, providing detailed information on a suspect, and to produce “search like results without physical intrusion” (Marni 2). By collecting certain data, a court is able to prove that an individual was innocent. Catching criminals are a huge aspect of surveillance even if that person was not a terrorist.
Local convenience stores are a major target for burglars because they can run in and out in a matter of seconds. Plaid Pantry, a small company that owns stores in Oregon and Washington, recently had one of their stores robbed. “When Andrew Lemm robbed one of their stores in Seattle in June 2013, he was quickly identified by tips from the public after the video aired on Washington’s Most Wanted” (Rose 1). Thanks to the upgraded security surveillance system it installed a few years back, Plaid Pantry was able to catch the burglar.
Another pro for government surveillance would be the secrecy during an investigation. A small camera or microphone could be placed into a room while satellites and security cameras can monitor an individual with silence. There have been several cases in which this has been used....

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