Influence of technology in government: how extreme is the U.S government’s surveillance with technology?

   In essence, the United States Republican government’s relationship to the people is a stark contrast to the relationship between the North Korean communist government to its people, or the former Soviet Union’s relationship as well. However, it is unfair to say that there is a clear dichotomy between these three models, for there may be many overlooked similarities among them. For it is clear that when looking into the future, the U.S government will foster a larger influence than ever on the entire United States population – similar to that of North Korea and the Soviet Union in their respective populations. The U.S government has, to this point, been involved in the lives of each and every citizen in the nation, and will eventually reach new ways to do this task with the growth of technology, strengthening and bolstering their process of surveillance. There exist many mixed opinions on this reality: for some critics, the government is overly extending its rule on humanity and acting in manners unethical and unlawful, whereas advocates argue that the government is fulfilling its requirements as mentioned in the constitution. Nevertheless, as the government holds great relevancy in individual’s lives, an accurate and coherent opinion is necessary to be adopted. Using thorough resources necessary to accomplish this goal, it can be justifiably stated that the United States government is exemplifying “too much” surveillance with their technology upon the United States citizens.

The United States government personifies too much surveillance in that it places excessive importance on discovering illegal actions rather than promoting individual privacy. The Obama Administration bolstering its surveillance program into larger heights in order to further track down on foreign hacking is a primary depiction of this claim. Albeit the program appears as if it solely targets foreign hackers, the implications delivered by Snowden question this proclaimed truth. Snowden’s documents proposed the fact that the NSA searches for hackers even if they weren’t tied to foreign governments, and does this by evaluating each internet user in the United States. This is regarded by even government officials and cybersecurity researchers as not an ideal commitment for the government to partake in due to its lack of consideration for the American Civil Liberties. Inspecting the internet usage of each American internet user marginalizes their own needs for privacy and space. This incites a further need for the bolstering of these rights as opposed to the criminal investigation acts of the United States. In fact, Senator Patrick Leahy claimed that the NSA expanding “its warrantless surveillance of Internet traffic” shows the necessities of protecting the privacy of Americans. For in order to progress the path of the nation, the people must have their liberties and space separate from the government, otherwise a dividing force emerges that opposes development. Therefore, it is clear that by the decisions of the United States government, in upholding the law over the needs of the citizens and engendering controversy, the government has exceeded the acceptable amount of surveillance. Without controversy and with respect to the citizens, the government would be to fulfill surveillance at an even extent – as defended by Mark Bartholomew, who argues that this lack of transparency is the biggest problem the NSA holds.

Furthermore, the United States government personifies too much surveillance in another method: by how it collects the data of each and every American in a library-style arrangement without his or her consent. The endeavors of NSA in the recent decade induce this claim. Edward Snowden, regarded as the NSA whistleblower, exposed that the NSA documents the phone calls and conversations, as well as location records through technological signaling of each American. This data – known as metadata – rarely goes unnoticed by the government, and has the potential to expose the secrets of any individual. Inevitably, this process paves the path for a superfluous quantity of discussion and scrutiny among the morality of the government’s actions. As claimed by the journalist, “everyone has a few little secrets” which indicates discomfort in the confidential recording of these secrets, forming a paradox as their private affairs are not truly secrets. Moreover, storing each citizen’s private information without consent forms an untrustworthy state between man and government, as citizens are left questioning the motives of senators and as specified, form newfound assumptions on how congressmen may avoid voting “in any way which could have them painted as soft on security.” This goes to show the cons in overarching surveillance by a nation. The ongoing pursuit of American’s data by the NSA directly parallels with the increase in scrutiny and skepticism towards the government. For if one side does not trust the other – the other will likely do the same.

For generations to come, surveillance by the government will become more and more influential. The potent of the government in regards to surveillance remain unknown by the vast majority of the American population; regardless, it is vital to recognize that while the abilities of government may be endless, the raw efforts of men are able to trump them with solidarity and force. It is not to say that rebellion is the answer to the limitation of surveillance, but rather respectful discourse, vigorous protests and active involvement in democratic affairs are able to accomplish this goal. When Americans take part in these activities, the results are twofold: a greater likelihood of an equal field between government and man and a nation where untrustworthiness and deceit is replaced with mutual confidence and shared insight. As these realities do not exist in the modern day, it is reasonable to claim that the United States is displaying too much surveillance, particularly by their efforts in compiling American’s data and investigating their internet traffic.

 

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