Privacy vs. Security? The Balance of Given Rights

In the current state of the world, one will be able to find news about a particular topic of interest anywhere, and at this point in time, there are so many that one finds it hard to single out an individual story. Many events can happen over the course of a day, and most of those occurrences will probably never make it to the news. However, sometime during the spring of the year 2013, a man named Edward Snowden made the front page of every American newspaper that currently exists. Snowden leaked highly debatable information on the National Security Agency, (NSA), using devices to spy on the American people, with the intention of security. In my personal opinion, given the current situation of our government, the NSA should not be able to spy on the common people, unless it is solely under good intentions, such as terrorism.

The NSA should not be able to spy on the people of the United States for a number of reasons. First and foremost, such an act invades a person’s personal space and destroys their state of mind. In doing so, a possible outcome will be that they can no longer trust their internet-connected devices, thus further destroying their mental well-being. Furthermore, along with the current state of the world as a whole, it presents the chance of the government being able to control the citizen’s every move. If this were to happen, the once free country of the United States would no longer be the freedom it stands for. Lastly, it would be a huge violation of constitutional rights, since the right to privacy exists and is implied in the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

However, others might think differently from my own opinion. For example, others may state that the NSA definitely has a right to look into the activities of citizens, and in doing so, they would be able to prevent terrorism. In addition, they may also say that the government will be able to regulate widespread piracy, and prevent further illegal actions.

Photo @ 2014 Mike Mozart (CC by 2.0)

Photo @ 2014 Mike Mozart (CC by 2.0)

I, personally, somewhat disagree with the statement of the others, while also understanding the point they put forth. Although they bring up good points, I disagree with those statements for many reasons. First, I believe the NSA should not spy because it disrupts the constitutional rights of the citizens. Although it may regulate piracy, piracy is in itself still controversial. Last and most importantly, it will present the possibility of the American government inching closer to a tyrannical power, thus destroying the freedom it was built upon.

Evidently and most clearly, the privacy of the United States and its people is what matters the most. The NSA does not have a right to spy on its own citizens, and if it had to, it must be under extreme regulations. As a population, our spoken will is what matters the most, and we must tell the government that they do not have the right to spy on us. It is a violation of the constitution in doing so, and such an act will destroy the freedom and prosperity that we as a people have worked so hard to achieve. And in the words of one of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin states, “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

– Bryan


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