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Security Versus Privacy Essay

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Security Versus Privacy


As a result of 9/11, our country has been faced with a new issue: electronic privacy. The terrorists that attacked us used our own technology against us to protect their activities from our view. Because of this, we are now forced to make a decision between two desirable things: privacy and national security. On the one hand, our right to privacy will ensure that our personal rights are not violated, whereas, on the other hand, national security would allow us some comfort against the evil in the world. What are we supposed to do? This issue, however it is decided, will have tremendous impact on each and every one of our lives. The ruling that the government makes concerning this issue will greatly alter the course of our nation and our lives. Our world can either offer complete privacy, which will protect even the criminals from sight, or it will be a closely monitored space that almost completely eliminates our rights as a free person. Now, it is very unlikely, however, that the world will reach one of these two extremes. A quote from The Economist says it well. 'Amidst all this sound and fury, both sides need to consider the fundamental question: in light of the attack, where must the balancing point between security and liberty be set' (The Economist). It does not seem possible to stray to either extreme. Instead, these two issues are dependent on each other. Therefore, our country must seek to find a balance between the two extremes. The government will, however, end up favoring one idea over the other, and that is the crucial part. Their decision will forever change the way people use technology, for personal, business, and other uses.

There are currently a few main solutions pertaining to th...


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Bill of Rights. n.d. Cornell Law School. 30 March 2002. <http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.billofrights.html>

Brown, Jason. Personal interview (MOO Lecture). 4 April 2002.

Economist. 29 September 2001. 27 February 2002 <http://www.economist.com>

Electronic Frontier Foundation. n.d. 29 March 2002 <http://www.eff.org>

Grier, Peter. ?Fragile Freedoms.? Christian Science Monitor 13 December 2001. 29 March 2001 <http://www.csmonitor.com>

Knouse, Lois E. Personal interview. 11 April 2002.

Leahy, Patrick. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy. 25 October 2001. U.S. Senate. 27 February 2002 <http://www.senate.gov/~leahy/press/200110/102501.html>

McCullagh, Declan. ?Congress Mulls Stiff Crypto Laws.? Wired Magazine 13 September 2001. 29 March 2002 <http://www.wired.com/news/print/0,1294,4686,00.html>


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