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Personal Privacy and the Government Essay

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The United States government is up to its ears in the personal information it has collected from its citizens. Americans are becoming increasingly “aware of these slowly eroding walls of privacy,”(Hirsh) and more than half polled admit concern “about the overall accumulation of personal information about them “by […] law enforcement, government, […] and other groups,” though “they accept it as an unavoidable modern phenomenon” (Hirsh). The question is, how far is too far to trust the government with the collection, proper storage, and usage of this information? Studies show that “Americans believe that business, government, social-media sites, and other groups are accessing their most personal information without their consent” (Hirsh). People should be given the ability to admit or deny access to their personal information. The government does not have a right to use whatever information it wants for any purpose it wishes. Michael Hayden, once the NSA director for seven years, says, “Even I recognize that it's one thing for Google to know too much, because they aren't putting me in jail. It's another thing for government, because they can coerce me” (Hirsh). The United States government's ability to collect information about its citizens and residents should be restricted by what kind of information it can take, how it can acquire it, and what it can use it for.
In order to fulfill its duty of ensuring the safety of its law-abiding citizens, and apprehending those who would cause them harm, the government does need to access certain information. In fact, many blame suppressed intelligence operations for allowing the terrorist attacks in 2001 to slip through (Cooper). It would be foolish not to tighten security after suc...


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...ng Viewpoints in Context. Web. 15 Aug. 2013.
"Cybercriminals Use Personal Information on Social Networking Websites to Commit Crimes."
Cybercrime. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing
Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Online Exposure: Social Networks, Mobile Phones, and Scams
Can Threaten Your Security." Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 15 Aug. 2013.
"Fourth Amendment." The Free Dictionary. Legal dictionary. Farlex. n.d. 18 March 2014.
Hirsh, Michael, and Sara Sorcher. “Edward Snowden Is Completely Wrong.” National Journal
(2013). Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 15 Aug. 2013.
Lee, Timothy B. “Smartphones Have Security Risks.” Smartphones. Ed. Roman Espejo. Detroit:
Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “My Smartphone, the Spy:
Protecting Privacy in a Mobile Age.” 2012. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 15
Aug. 2013.


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