Security or privacy?
// Posted by Tec on 02/21/2014 (9:34 PM)
After the terrorist attack in 9/11 the word security and privacy have taken another meaning. It is understandable that the U.S. government has taken measures necessary to prevent terrorist acts and to keep his country safe. One of these measures has been the use of espionage, although from time before the U.S. government has used these measures to make foreign policy decisions, this time have focused not only on terrorists but also on their own citizens violating their privacy.
However contrary to the public opinion, according to a CBS News survey only 36 percent of the country felt that government spying had ” gone too far ” . Similarly, a Pew survey – Washington Post found that 62 percent (including 69 percent of Democrats ) deemed fighting terrorism a higher priority than protecting privacy.
Understandably the citizens prefer their security and not take so much importance to their privacy by not having anything to hide and with the fact that today with the internet, the television and the social networks are expanded increasingly more tools to know personal information about everyone. However it is important to clarify the true use the government does with the information obtained through espionage due that some of the disclosures provided by Snowden for The Guardian show that there have been times when the goverment blame any citizen to be a potential suspect modifying the personal information and showing false information about that citizen.
On the question of whether restrictions should exist on the Internet I consider that not necessarily, because the Internet is currently used for communication and dissemination of information , among many other things . But being such a large network is a tool of certain actors to achieve theirs objectives and this ones not necessarily are ethical or good, so the Internet becomes a double-edged sword. But USA is a democratic country, which has always characterized by “defend” freedom in every way, so I don’t consider that putting restrictions on the Internet matches very well with that speech of freedom.
As mentioned above, the United States is a democratic regime where must exist a real relationship of trust between the government and its citizens, and for that reason is so the citizens voted for they. It’s necessary that the government inform the society about their decisions and do that with transparency in the published information. If the government makes decisions in the place of the society in the long-term the trust will lost and social problems arise.
It’s understandable that States must ensure their national security, but violating the privacy of individuals and institutions is not the most ethical way to do it. I think that people like Snowden are citizens committed to their society. In the particular case of Snowden he had the access to confidential information and saw that this information was not necessarily the same as the United States government made known, so he decided to inform the public the truth of what is happening, giving them the option to start doing something about it or just let it go. Such leaks are a new way to encourage citizens to participate and become more involved in issues of public agenda to achieve the common good.