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Short topic: Safety or right to privacy - Term Paper Example

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The world today is a global village, and hardly any part of it can be insulated from the ill-effects of terrorism. However, in the zeal to secure the life of the common man, his privacy is being invaded…
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Short topic: Safety or right to privacy
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Download file to see previous pages Evidence shows that the opposite is true in this case.
This topic becomes significant in the light of the Snowden episode. EJ Snowden, a computer specialist and formerly associated with the CIA and NSA, revealed classified documents to the media. These documents were related to surveillance by NSA and others and the details thereof. In the wake of the September 11th attack on the US, the NSA decided to track phone calls where one of the parties was outside the US. This did not require warrants. As Cauley reports, though the address details were not sought by the NSA, it could always be obtained from other databases. To conclude, NSA had got hold of the communication patterns of many US citizens.
According to the fourth amendment of the US constitution, the government would not spy upon its people, provided they take reasonable measures for the same. As Jordan points out, the Supreme Court considers two things as pre-requisites for fourth amendment status. Firstly, the person must display that he expects privacy. Secondly, society should accept this expectation as legitimate (536). For instance, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is very secure and difficult to eavesdrop on. Hence, the user expects even more privacy (538).
While most countries do not consider privacy of communications as a human right, the Japanese constitution ensures privacy. In terms of the internet, cryptography is a principle with far reaching consequences. Shearer & Guttmann point out that a cryptography-based society could exclude governments unless it decides to do so. If governments can tolerate encryption by citizens and involve itself in other activities, it would be in the interest of the common man (23).
The term ‘privacy’ has narrow as well as wide connotations depending on its interpretation. As Daniel believes, one has to focus more on related problems rather than ignoring or inflating them (772). By focussing on the definition, one digresses from ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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