Protecting Privacy and Securing the Nation in the 21st Century Essay

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The idea of privacy protection for private citizens is rooted in history back to the Magna Carta. With the passage of time and the evolution of communication the laws of the United States have attempted to ensure a balance between security of the nation and protecting privacy. The current state of privacy and the law is now in a state of flux as citizens have begun to rely more and more on technological means of communication and have integrated privacy invading technology into their daily lives. It is not uncommon today for the average citizen to have all their conversations and movements tracked and stored into massive electronic databases simply because they carry a cell phone. The use of the internet as a means of communication and commerce adds further to the data collection activities as online banking, bill paying, shopping, and social networks become the norm. In a post 9/11 world this data is now captured, mined, and analyzed to create profiles of citizens to be used in both the private and public sectors to look for illegal activities like terrorism the drug trade, and even larceny. How the laws of the United States apply to keeping this data private while protecting citizens from harm is the goal of this report.
There are currently many laws pertaining to privacy protections in the United States with the United States Constitution’s Fourth and Fifth Amendments being the foundation of privacy protection case law. The Fourth Amendment protection that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures…” leads the way. While this affords protection from intrusions by the government, the stipulation only goes as far as when the protection ...

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Fairfield, Paul. Public/Private. Lanham: Rowman, 2005. Print.
Garfinkel, Simson. Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century. Sebastopol: O’Reilly, 2000. Print.
Gleicher, Nathaniel. "Neither a customer nor a subscriber be: regulating the release of user information on the World Wide Web." Yale Law Journal 118.8 (2009): 1945+. Academic OneFile. Web. 22 Feb. 2010.
Glenn, Richard A. The Right to Privacy: Rights and Liberties under the Law. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2003. Print.
Shachtman, Noah. “Exclusive: U.S. Spies Buy Stake in Firm That Monitors Blogs, Tweets.” WIRED, 19 Oct. 2009. Web. 21 Feb. 2010.
Solove, Daniel J. The Digital Person: Technology and Privacy in the Information Age. New York: New York University Press, 2004. Print.
"Twitter tapping." Editorial. New York Times 13 Dec. 2009: 8(L). Academic OneFile. Web. 21 Feb. 2010.

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