The debate on how much the government should be invading our privacy for the sake of keeping us more secure has been brought to the forefront again after the latest controversy involving Verizon and the National Security Administration (NSA), in which Verizon agreed to hand over all of its phone records to the government during a certain time period. The question is: Is the government going too far by demanding to have personal records of phone calls and emails from the average citizen?
My quick answer would be yes. I understand that the government is trying to keep people safe by wanting to know what everyone is doing at any single moment so that no security threats go unnoticed. However, I also believe in rights to personal privacy. In a world where virtually everything is caught on film or on video, the last thing we need is less privacy. If the government wants to investigate personal records, they need to have a valid reason at the very least. It is simply way overboard to have records of personal phone calls and emails especially when those people don’t even know about it. The term “spying” has been thrown around with this latest controversy, and I think this more than qualifies. You just can’t get personal information from people behind their back, that’s an invasion of privacy.
Another issue related to privacy involves employers. There have been recent stories about employers demanding personal usernames and passwords to social media sites such as Facebook as part of an interview. The thinking behind this is to make sure that the employee is not trying to hide anything that would negatively affect the company if they started working there. However, this is yet again an invasion of privacy and is completely unfair to the potential hire. Everybody and their mother knows that you are different person at work than you are in your leisure time. Assuming someone would be a bad employee because they posted pictures on Facebook of them partying is about as stupid and irrational as you could possibly get. Work life and personal life are completely different. If they are qualified and can get the job done, it shouldn’t matter what they do in their personal time. So not only is it an invasion of privacy, but it is also an incorrect way to judge someone.
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