What is more important: our privacy or national security?
Since the foundation of the first city-state in Ancient Greece, the main goal of any state has been to protect its borders and the people that live within them. When the ancient city-states had a problem, they would wage a war which would decide their fate. Nowadays, wars and battles are less common due to the huge differences in the military power between countries and the constant threat of a nuclear war that could wipe out all life on the planet. Modern wars are fought in different ways: by intelligence, cunningness and fear.
War on terrorism
Many people would agree that the war on terrorism is the prime preoccupation of every country in the world, but this war is not easily fought. Due to the advancement of technology, terrorists can devise new ways of making chaos. Under such circumstances, governments often have no choice but to prioritize national security over their people’s right to privacy.
But do we agree with our governments? Are we willing to give up our privacy for the sake of security? What do we actually lose by giving up our privacy?
Privacy can be defined as a state in which one is not observed or disturbed by other people. So, does this mean that if we give up our privacy, we will be observed and disturbed by the government all the time? Of course not. It only means that increased security measures will be used in dangerous situations, although those methods may make us somewhat uncomfortable.
When we think about protecting our privacy, we should ask ourselves whether we really have the right to complain when so many people readily throw away their privacy on social media. We give so much personal information to various internet sites. We post our private pictures on a regular basis. YouTube keeps our “wins and fails”. The internet knows us better than we know ourselves – it remembers our virtues and our shame. And if we can survive the judgmental eyes of our audience, then we don’t have anything else to hide.
The only person that has something to hide is a person that plans to do something bad or illegal and that person must be caught if we don’t want to have another 9/11. To find this person, the government must check everybody and during this check they may find something embarrassing about you. But do you think that FBI agents care about your drunk pictures when there could be a bomb planted in the city? The government is only checking you, they aren’t going to publish your embarrassing information on their blog.
We all have some secrets that we don’t want to be exposed, but we should remember that the government is not there to make fun of us, but to protect us. They are there to make it possible for us to share our pictures on Facebook or present our “achievements” on YouTube without fear for our life.