The Revelations Of Edward Snowden Essay

1162 words - 5 pages

With the revelations of Edward Snowden about the massive amount of government surveillance of individuals worldwide, and the almost endless amount of news stories regarding the lack of privacy on the internet, the issue of data mining by the government and private businesses is of increasing concern to Americans.
Many agencies of the government, including President Obama have defended the collection of phone records and Internet use data by stating that these efforts are key to the global fight against not only terrorism, but also financial crime, sexual crimes and surveillance by foreign powers. Many people in America and elsewhere are very concerned with the ramifications of these ...view middle of the document...

These advertisements then send reports back to various companies, logging the popularity of their products, and other usable data regarding the user’s interest level. The same geared advertisement occurs when we post about TV programs, music, politics, and sexual habits. People seem to act as if their Facebook page is their own property, and are seemingly shocked when the information they think is “private” is mined or revealed. However, as many people do forget, a social media account is a service that is provided, not a right. Many people do not ever bother to read the “EULA”, or “End User Privacy Agreement” that is frequently offered at a stage before software or web-page use, and many times there are provisions within the “EULA” that allow for the anonymous use of your data. There are also very important questions about our society involved in this, such as the lack of discretion and shame sometimes shown on the Internet.
This is not to say that there are not serious issues at stake, and that the public should be prepared for and accept the secret use of their data. We are still in the beginning phases of a new stage in how information is passed on, and we know from the long history of humankind that technology always runs ahead of the laws that limit it or its use. It is almost impossible to predict the technology of the future and all of the uses it could be put to, and this is what has happened with the Internet and the mining and collection of data.
Of immediate concern regards the intrusion of the government (especially those of the military, intelligence gathering and law enforcement branches) into the private lives of individuals, or of institutions. Recently it was alleged by Senator Dianne Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, that the CIA had hacked into Senate files and removed sensitive information that the Agency did not want the committee to have. This is something that should concern every American, for while it seems necessary that there be some monitoring of internet traffic, the American tradition of checks and balances on power seem to warrant an independent oversight of these activities by the elected representatives of the people.
Another threat to our privacy comes from the collection of private data by corporations in the pursuit of profit. The fear here is not necessarily what these companies are doing now, but what they could do, or what they could be compelled to do with that information. Your...

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