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Indiviual Privacy vs National Security Essay

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James Madison once said “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” To gain a better understanding of a society, one must gain knowledge of the needs and wants the citizens’ demand from the country’s representatives. In every country the needed to protect its citizens is the same. In some nations, security is a higher priority which causes sacrifices to be made to obtain an indefinite protection against all rivals. In Peter Singer’s essay titled “Visible Man: Ethics in a World without Secrets” he states that there is a way that governments can collect information by using technology; to allow more ‘openness’ and exposure as an increase of unknown surveillance that the public is not aware of. Singer’s essay also talks about how also with the rise of secrecy within politics; organizations such as ‘WikiLeaks’ and ‘Anonymous’ reveal to the world what is really going on within their privacy. Benefits come from both sides in a world where surveillance exists to the highest priority with or without privacy.
In a world where people have become dependent on technology, we can access any type of information as well as provide information to the Internet. This causes a great amount of knowledge for anyone to use to their content, whether it be for malicious or benign purposes. However, whether the reasons are behind this, there is always a trace of something left behind in an electronic devices history. By tapping into a person’s history, one can found out exactly what a person does when they are online. In Singer’s essay, he stated that it is possible to create a ‘Panopticon’ where the government has a visual observation on its citi...


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... their purposes. It is not easy to maintain security without giving up some privacy. It just depends on what you feel is important. Each individual is different. While some feel that security should come at any cost, including privacy and liberty, there are others that feel there should be a balance. It is possible to juggle both, security and privacy. It takes effort and cooperation from everyone involved. We have to be willing to fight for what we want. That is how we became America.


Works Cited

Singer, Peter. “Visible Man: Ethics in a World without Secrets,” Emerging for Contemporary Writers, Ed. Barclay Barrios. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2013. 462-468. Print.

Tomescu, Madalina, and Liliana Trofin. "Identity, Security and Privacy in the Information Society." Contemporary readings in law and social justice 2.2 (2010): 307-12. Print.



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