Government Intrusion And Civil Liberties Essay

3637 words - 15 pages

Most people have either read or heard of the book 1984 in some point in their high school career. Some may see it as just fictional literature that we learn in English class, but it could become seeing as to how our government is handling national security. In 1984, the author, George Orwell talks about a society in which one group of people runs society and everyone is under surveillance. This was something that people in the 1980s would not think possible, so how could Orwell have thought of this plot when writing the book during the 1940s? It could have been due to the progress in technology such as radio, film, television. The fear of government interference could have also been ...view middle of the document...

The government’s intentions in committing these actions are positive but the way things are being handled is not correct in terms of violating individuals rights in researching threats of terrorism. People clearly do not want outside interference in their own personal lives as proven in the Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut where the use of contraceptives was declared constitutional under the interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment having the idea of ‘right to privacy’.
With that being said and after almost11 years since 9/11, there has not been a major threat of terrorists being in the United States, so the government should stop focusing on its citizens as being potential threats to national security and focus on other items in their agenda if information on possible terrorists in the U.S. is a small possibility. Well, how exactly is the government spying on its citizens? With technology’s rapid improvements over the course of the years, there are many ways for the government to watch, listen to or track U.S. citizens. The government’s increase and use of such techniques has gotten to the point where millions of people are being spied on, to what they argue, is protecting national security (define). These techniques consist of using drones, wiretapping and GPS trackers.
Drones are being small devices that capture HD pictures of people and property (New York Times). Outside of the U.S., these small cameras are used in war to protect soldiers from entering very dangerous areas by instead having them control the drones, and what is even more helpful is that some drones even have missiles (SLR).
Another technique is through wiretapping which is exactly what it sounds like. Wiretapping is when an outsider is “…connecting a listening device to the circuit carrying information between phones…” and disables the microphone so that the phone they are using becomes a listening device but to avoid having to stay on the phone at all times, the outsider can create a voice-activated recorder and use a bug that will eventually lead to sending or encoding the conversation according to the article, (How Wiretapping Works).

The final tactic used is a GPS tracker which is not used as much as the previous two (why?). A GPS tracker is simply when someone installs a GPS on, most likely, an automobile and follows the driver’s destinations as occurred in the case of U.S. v. Jones where the U.S. government, without a search warrant, placed a tracking device into Jones’ car (supremecourt.gov).
One may ask how these practices are even being allowed. First off, they are not supposed to be occurring because of our Fourth Amendment rights that say no unreasonable search or seizure can be made without a search warrant given by a court, but two laws that are allowing this to happen are the Patriot Act and Indefinite Detention. The Patriot Act (define) simply allows the spying of U.S. citizens by the government and allowing institutions to report...

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