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Privacy Vs Security Essay

National Security Vs. The Right To Privacy

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." -- Helen Keller

Security has been a common topic of controversy since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and even before then it was a constant subject. The image of buildings collapsing and billowing smoke has been engraved into the minds of Americans and will remain there for years to come. Security is an issue that we encounter everyday. Whether it is driving down the freeway or walking into the grocery store; we are cautious of what is going on around us. Men and women across this country are dedicated to enforcing laws; laws that are designed to ensure the security of our communities and our nation. In an effort to project a feeling of security, the government has set up a department whose sole purpose is to protect; the department of Homeland Security. We install surveillance cameras in banks, stores, restaurants, and homes. Those that we feel need more protection, such as celebrities and politicians, are constantly surrounded by body guards. One cannot work with children without having a detailed background check and receiving priority clearance. If one is willing to look hard enough or spend enough money, they can retrieve information on any specific person, and barely break a sweat.

Security is not something that can be compromised; however, it does not have to come at the expense of our privacy. It is possible to maintain our own identities, while guaranteeing the security of our nation. As Bruce Schneier argues in his commentary, Protecting privacy and liberty, security and privacy are not two sides of an equation. (773)

In an article for an Internet security company, Schneier addresses the issue of security, saying “The best ways to increase security are not at the expense of privacy and liberty” (773). Schneier goes on to talk about other options for increased security, while maintaining our privacy and liberty. One of the suggestions he makes is, “When security is designed into a system, it can work without forcing people to give up their freedom” (Schneier 773). In other words, security needs to be considered at the beginning. No matter what the project, if security is taken into consideration at the start, it will not pose a problem in the end. Schneier asserts that security usually fails when it has been thrown in at the last minute or added later (773). His best example for how we can implement uncompromising security is a description of airports and the measures that are taken to ensure that it is safe to fly:
Giving airline pilots firearms, reinforcing cockpit doors, better authentication for airport maintenance workers, armed air marshals traveling on flights, and teaching flight attendants are all examples of suggested security measures that have no effect on individual privacy or liberties. (Schneier 773)

This is simply one way that security can be achieved without...

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James Madison once said “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” To gain a better understanding of a society, one must gain knowledge of the needs and wants the citizens’ demand from the country’s representatives. In every country the needed to protect its citizens is the same. In some nations, security is a higher priority which causes sacrifices to be made to obtain an indefinite protection against all rivals. In Peter Singer’s essay titled “Visible Man: Ethics in a World without Secrets” he states that there is a way that governments can collect information by using technology; to allow more ‘openness’ and exposure as an increase…show more content…

Due to this hidden surveillance, many people find this as an act of violation of one’s privacy while others declare it is for the benefit of a nation’s security against rivalry countries. “The degree to which a government is repressive does not turn on the methods by which it acquires information about its citizens, or the amount of data it retains”(Singer 464). Since people do not think twice before putting personal information on the Internet such as an address, credit card accounts, phone numbers and etcetera, they are openly giving out the information as a person were handing out candy to kids on Halloween. This openness of granting out information allows a gateway for people to access and use in terms of security. “Governments, corporations, and other organizations interested in protect privacy will strive to increase security, but they will also have to reckon with the likelihood that such measures are sometimes going to fail”(Singer 463). In other words, security and privacy go hand in hand with one another. Security is the freedom of information while privacy is the ‘openness’ where people allow their personal information available to the world. They must maintain balance but in most cases usually one is favored over the other. “Network publics are simultaneously a space and a collection of people”(Tomescu, and Trofin 309). However this ‘openness’ is similar to a library where all the

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