DIGITAL AMERICA

Internet privacy debate

// Posted by on 02/22/2014 (12:50 AM)

The internet has become an essential tool for our daily lives, from education and negotiation activities to leisure and recreation. Thousands of information is shared in this media, such as passwords, pictures, and of course, conversations. Nevertheless, in the recent years, that hasn’t been an impediment for the states to violate the citizens’ right to privacy. In the interest of national welfare, states have begun taking actions, such as espionage and unwarranted investigations, which although justified as security measures, had come to attack one of the most essential rights.

Recent events have become the trigger for manifestations, debates and the fight to regain the internet privacy. But what is to be done? Terrorism is, for example, a major threat to national security, and it could be prevented by investigating the information circulation in the cyberspace. Therefore, the real question is: to what extent national security may be above the individual rights of citizens? Apparently, you cannot have both.

The lack of regulation in cyberspace has led to ambiguity for users and governments, dispelling the lines of permissiveness for one and others. However, although the regulation of this space would reduce the abusiveness of the states, the user would also be highly limited, contrary to the advantage that characterizes the internet.

Personally although I think there is some information that governments should keep for their own in order to protect the State and the citizen’s security, I also think that people should be able decide what is and what isn’t private information, and to keep it that way. This has obviously, completely and worldwide violated by the governments. I don’t think I would have done the same as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, but drastic actions must be taken to resolve the problem and these two men have shown that we can’t under the limits of what is permitted when such legality is becoming into injustices.

Therefore, it seems like citizens will have to lose some of their freedom in the internet in order to regain their privacy. Regulations are vital for solving the problem, so we must demand them, because right now the governments seem to me much more powerful rather the pressure that the regular citizen can put into the State.

World governments are supposedly ensuring our security. However, the process has damaged us enough as citizens. Is the price of our security worth? Is this the only way to be protected? Which is more dangerous: terrorism or a State with unlimited power?


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Kevin said...

I agree with you for the most part in your saying that “you cannot have both” national security and the individual rights of citizenship. You most certainly cannot have unlimited security as well as completely uncontested rights, however, is it really that bad to have parts of each? I have the individual rights to my information remaining private. And by that I mean, as long as my information denotes no intention of committing an act of terrorism, my information will never be shared by the government. Thus, is it fair to say that I still have some degree of privacy as my country does what it can to keep me safe?

Basically I’m just trying to say that I think its okay to have slightly limited rights as long as its for the purpose of keeping your country safe. The government has no use for reading any of my emails, texts, etc., but they have to compile a large set of data in order to find the needle in the haystack (so to speak). However, I think that your mentioning of espionage does raise greater concerns. Obviously this can lead to diplomatic issues that might actually cause more problems than it actually solves. This complex is very complex, especially living in a post-911 America, where we wish we could have infiltrated information from terrorists before such a great tragedy. However, I think the best we can do at this point is at least taking more measures to generate international policy in regards to internet-based espionage.

// 02/24/2014 at 7:50 pm