The worst part about safety is deprivation of privacy. As of late, the question of “How safe are we?” has come up quite often. In the wake of the Paris attacks and other such terror threats, we as a people begin to question just how safe we are. As the push to improve safety is becoming a bigger topic, we wonder at what cost does this safety come.
What is safety? Safety isnt just a want, it’s a need. That is the motto of the countries in the current era, so it seems. Top priority is to keep citizens safe. That is not a bad policy, by any means, but we have to ask ourselves and our government at what cost is this safety coming. Government is slowly chipping away at our privacy and infringing upon our first and fourth amendment rights by implementing policies to attempt to keep us safe.
In an article done by the Washington Post, a journalist gathered the opinions of a number of citizens on the topic of our privacy and the possible loss of it in the name of safety. Amongst these citizens were college students, professors and informed citizens. This being the educated demographic, could be considered a specific group. But, this is the most important group to analyze because these are the people that understand the topic and are informed of both sides. The general consensus of this group seemed to be split but slightly in favor of privacy rights. They agree that the increase in safety measures is needed in a time where terror seems to be a weekly threat, but people are not sure if it is worth their constitutionally given rights.
Currently citizens are questioning the legality of the actions governments are taking to protect us and they may soon be taking even more drastic measures. The Department of Homeland Security is currently trying to implement forms of data mining which may be even more intrusive on our privacy. If congress passes this data mining act, it would effectively provide government officials with immediate access to our personal information such as all of our communications (phone calls, emails and web searches), financial records, purchases, prescriptions, school records, medical records and travel history. Even though it seems like the likelyhood of this being an approved government program seems unlikely, it shows the reader that our government is trying to implement programs that will commit obvious infringements on our privacy in the name of safety.
Attacks such as the ones in Paris in November have risen many questions. how safe do our governments really keep us? What can we do to stop terror threats? It is our government’s role to protect us but how well do the measures that they take work if terrorism is still occurring in countries that have stepped up their safety precautions because of another attack that occur no more than a year ago in the same city. It seems the precautions our government is taking to protect us may be necessary but are not proven to be effective and are not worth the cost of our privacy.