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Indiviual Privacy Vs National Security Essay

1499 words - 6 pages

James Madison once said “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” To gain a better understanding of a society, one must gain knowledge of the needs and wants the citizens’ demand from the country’s representatives. In every country the needed to protect its citizens is the same. In some nations, security is a higher priority which causes sacrifices to be made to obtain an indefinite protection against all rivals. In Peter Singer’s essay titled “Visible Man: Ethics in a World without Secrets” he states that there is a way that governments can collect information by using technology; to allow more ‘openness’ and exposure as an increase of unknown surveillance that the public is not aware of. Singer’s essay also talks about how also with the rise of secrecy within politics; organizations such as ‘WikiLeaks’ and ‘Anonymous’ reveal to the world what is really going on within their privacy. Benefits come from both sides in a world where surveillance exists to the highest priority with or without privacy.
In a world where people have become dependent on technology, we can access any type of information as well as provide information to the Internet. This causes a great amount of knowledge for anyone to use to their content, whether it be for malicious or benign purposes. However, whether the reasons are behind this, there is always a trace of something left behind in an electronic devices history. By tapping into a person’s history, one can found out exactly what a person does when they are online. In Singer’s essay, he stated that it is possible to create a ‘Panopticon’ where the government has a visual observation on its citizens as they progress throughout the day without knowing they are being watched. Yet, how can this be possible of allowing this type of surveillance in today’s society? Due to this hidden surveillance, many people find this as an act of violation of one’s privacy while others declare it is for the benefit of a nation’s security against rivalry countries. “The degree to which a government is repressive does not turn on the methods by which it acquires information about its citizens, or the amount of data it retains”(Singer 464). Since people do not think twice before putting personal information on the Internet such as an address, credit card accounts, phone numbers and etcetera, they are openly giving out the information as a person were handing out candy to kids on Halloween.
This openness of granting out information allows a gateway for people to access and use in terms of security. “Governments, corporations, and other organizations interested in protect privacy will strive to increase security, but they will also have to reckon with the likelihood that such measures are sometimes going to fail”(Singer 463). In other words, security and privacy go hand in hand with one another. Security is the freedom of...

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