Surveillance leads to less privacy for America

Kennedee Estes, Reporter

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s a drone!

Yes, government surveillance drones are very real. They are the new reality and it’s not just drones. Government surveillance has grown significantly since 2001 — for obvious reasons such as an increase in terrorism, namely the attack on the Twin Towers.

But this reality should not be acceptable to us. Government surveillance of American citizens is a threat to very freedom the country claims to fight for all over the world.

The government asserts that this surveillance is necessary in order to protect us from terrorism.

Is this a big enough excuse to allow the federal government to ruthlessly watch the country’s citizens?

Federal law enforcement agencies are increasingly monitoring Americans’ electronic communications—among other things—and doing so without warrants, sufficient oversight or meaningful accountability.

Why does it seem that most Americans don’t seem to mind that their everyday phone calls and texts are being monitored? Why does it not scare anyone that drone proliferation is becoming a reality?

I think that the reason behind the lack of concern is that most people just dismiss this reality, leaving the problem to the conspiracy theorists. They either think it doesn’t matter or that it’s not really happening. However, government surveillance is not a conspiracy theory; it’s a frightening threat to our freedom.

And, it isn’t just the government that is invading people’s privacy; businesses are watching their employees, and schools are keeping an eye on their students.

What started as two cops sitting in a car eating pizza and drinking coffee on a stake out in the 1950s has become entire agencies monitoring a million phone calls and text messages,  and Internet interactions and then filing them away for the use of all government agencies.

The Privacy Act of 1974 is supposed to provide safeguards against invasion of personal privacy.

The act guarantees three primary rights: the right to see records about oneself, the right to request the amendment of records and the right of individuals to be protected against unwarranted invasion of their privacy.

The government has blatantly ignored this act and continues to watch its citizens with the excuse that if the records are kept anonymous, then it’s not an invasion of privacy. Wrong.

The simple act of the government watching us in the first place is an invasion of privacy; however, since it seems that most Americans are ignorant of this fact, the government doesn’t stop because there are not enough people fighting for our privacy.

The government shouldn’t have the power of warrantless surveillance. It is imperative that we fight for our right to privacy or else be prepared to kiss it goodbye.