Must national security and privacy clash?
Has Edward Snowden done nothing but stated about the obvious unrivaled powers of the NSA to avoid security breaches and yet another 9/11?
We know little about what uses the NSA makes of most information available to it, but the documents that Snowden has publicly revealed do state the fact that the NSA keeps track of phone calls, monitor’s communications, and analyzes people’s thoughts through data-mining of Google searches and other online activities.
After the attacks of 9/11, protecting individual privacy is on one side, and protecting physical and digital infrastructure and the lives of citizens is on the other. Individual privacy can only be limited to the individual itself as the mounts of internet surfing and usage of a completely new world of modern digitalization has increased the stature of variety of approaches to unneeded acts that may or may not be taken as a threat to the country. On the other hand security has become a zealous and invasive way to chew over an individual and their online activities.
The downpour of the leaks of Edward Snowden’s documents about surveillance practices by the National Security Agency has widened the debate between the President, Congress, intelligence agencies and the judiciary; it now also involves the au courant citizens. Many are suddenly informed about the wrong-doings done to their privacy regardless of them even remotely being reprimanded for the online activities if they don’t pose a threat to the security of agencies. So, is privacy still more important than national security?
Moving towards the involved, the tension in national security and privacy is not limited only to individuals and privacy laws. Research also shows that corporate houses have also been facing the security-privacy stiffness. Private sectors are getting even more complaints and enforcements regarding privacy issues. Every agency and corporate sector has been taken up for unavoidable conflicts for the “invasion of privacy of a common man” regardless of a much noticed fact that it works against terrorism and for each and every citizen of the country. “According to the American Management Association, more than 80 percent of the companies it surveyed use some form of electronic monitoring or surveillance to watch their employees.” – taken from one of the biggest security threat facing companies that is from the insider of the company itself. If given an opinion about what is more important for our country, I must say that privacy can only be private for a person if he/she is protected from certain threats or “viruses” that may damage their technology to ashes; this job can only be undertaken by the NSA. Since this an issue of an individual invasion, there would be 2 sides that may uncomplicated opinions- First, if we wish to stop the invasion of our privacy, we must choose to sacrifice our security which means that terrorism, which is one of the most common threats from technology, will increase. Second, if we wish to avoid certain privacy issues imposed by the NSA, we would be much undamaged by threats which also means that the NSA and all the private and corporate sectors can do a much better job at securing national infrastructure and maintaining peace amongst neighboring countries. Nothing is ever going to be stable until the government and the NSA give yet another promising statement about their reasons for invading individual’s privacy for maintaining a much up-to-date and shielded country. But isn’t that already done? Just recently President Obama said, “It’s important to understand that you can’t have 100 percent security and then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience — we’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”
The debate on privacy and national security will only be positive when public and private sectors, the government, NSA, corporations and the judiciary work together and bear certain understandings for decisions on both ends which will lead to a much informed society!