Essay on Government Surveillance vs Privacy

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The 21st century has brought with it a myriad of technological advancements all designed to make the lives of the developed world much easier, faster, and more fun. These new technologies are not coming without their own set of costs, though. One of the greatest prices people may be paying for their technology is the high cost of the loss of privacy that may come with many of these devices. Jim Hightower, an author for is very worried about what the new technological age will mean for privacy. In his article, “Watch Out -- the Drones Are Coming Home to Roost” ( Jim Hightower proclaims the dangers that an increased number of domestic drones will have on American privacy in an effort to urge the reader to take action against the U.S. government’s unmanned domestic drone policy that Hightower claims is being used to spy on U.S. citizens domestically.

The drones that Hightower is so worried about are, by definition, unmanned air vehicles that are piloted by trained personnel hundreds of miles away, are outfitted with cameras, and can strike using missiles at any time. Hightower employs a broad range of rhetorical figures throughout his article to decry the use of these drones domestically as an unnecessary infringement on U.S. privacy. Early in the article, Hightower employs a metaphor to put into context that the drones are merely “Orwellian Gnats” that the government is putting into our skies without answering any of the public’s questions about them. The metaphor is referring to the Orwell novel 1984 which describes a dystopia in which the government has become out of control and used technology and brain-washing to control a massive amount of people. This metaphor gives the reader the context for viewing these drones. Instead of seeing them merely as devices that can aid in the fight against crime, terrorism, or drugs, with this metaphor the reader can see the drones as part of a government that is focused on controlling and surveying its people rather than protecting them. Another rhetorical figure that Hightower employs is the synecdoche relating the imposition of domestic drones as a part of a greater scheme to provide complete surveillance on American citizens and completely erode privacy. Hightower’s main co...

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...drone policy in order to put a stop to unnecessary surveillance of American citizens.

Jim Hightower, a writer for, does not believe that there is anything good about the increased use of domestic unmanned drones in America. He uses a wide array of rhetorical figures, and formal topics to create his argument that the American people should not passively accept an increase in unmanned drones across domestic skies. He situates his argument in one referring to the quality and value of drone surveillance and his exigency for his article comes on the heels of the appointment of a new head of the CIA. Hightower believes that the American people do not want to be unnecessarily spied on by their government, and he believes that these drones will allow the government to spy unnecessarily on its people. Therefore, Hightower has written this article to persuade the reader to take action against these drones to help ensure that they do not become a reality in the skies of America. With his article we can realize that while advancements in technology may make our lives faster and easier, we must also be cautious about what these advancements mean for the future of our privacy.

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