Friday, September 20, 2013

Privacy in the Digital Age

This article really opened my eyes to a whole different side of human rights.  When I typically think of human rights and violations of them, I think of things like genocide, human trafficking, drone attacks, etc. However, especially in this age of fast-paced technological development, the right to privacy is often overlooked.  Especially in more developed countries, like the United States mentioned in the article, government sponsored surveillance is looked down upon and many seek to avoid it. 

However, because privacy protecting technology has not kept up with growing government surveillance tactics, many law-abiding citizens are having this privacy right breached, justified by outdated interpretations of the law.  If it is illegal for the government to search through your physical belongings without a warrant and probable cause, what makes it legal for them to have unauthorized access to your private phone calls, emails, location, and social media logins that could hold intimate details of your personal life with a quick call to a company? To me, that is completely disturbing and unacceptable, and this issue should be addressed immediately. 

It’s similar to the saying “why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but you do not notice the plank in your own eye?”  It is completely hypocritical for countries like the United States to be constantly policing and interfering with the actions of other countries, when they themselves are infringing upon the rights of their own citizens.  Of course, I am not suggesting that the human rights abuses going on in other parts of the world should not be a cause of great concern to Americans, but I think that we should also be aware of the issues going on in our own country as we are looking at others.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I think this is the single greatest question that we have to ask about our digital age and our dependence on the web for vital communications. I kind of think about the web like the phone - we use it just liked we used to use the phone - to communicate, to reach out, to get information. If we think about phones being wiretapped, it's pretty horrible. Or we could go even further back to letter-writing. What if all letters were opened before they got to the recipient of it? If we think about this in regards to the internet, we see the violation. In the cases of phones, letters, etc. - they were only tapped or censored if criminal activity was suspected. everyone now considered a potential criminal?