Violent but Reasonable

It can only manipulate while it remains invisible–Stauber& Rampton 1995


Recently American’s attention has been drawn towards the shrouded surveillance plans by government targeting terrorism with the offense of domestic and foreign citizens’ privacy. On this revelation, tapping the phone has been recalled as a ‘cliché’ which can be certainly over-shaded by the staggering data collection capability of governmental program. It has been decades since federal government closed its door sneakily doing all sorts of data collection and potential crime research on terrorism by invading in a large scale of private territory as long as they require.

Few polls have gone through public opinion on Liberty-Security balance issue. The results have heated up the dialogue of debate especially after the former contractor–Edward Snowden’s revelation on N.S.A programs. In the famous Quinnipiac poll, opinion shift has been detected towards civil liberty over security projects by government along these years. The result of the poll has also been approved as quite meaningful and well-structured to people who really care about this matter and want to address their opinion towards press and government to make themselves heard. Consequently, an uprising appeal for privacy defense stands in government’s way of the continuing fund-raising for their project brings up scrutiny for what they suppose to do underground.

Up till now, the result of debate over liberty-security balance is developed into a narrow vote scenario. Even though public resentment towards the information stealth by government is stirred up by some whistle-blowing out of someone’s self-sacrificing integrity, still, the ‘old American ambivalence will still give a chance to the dark corner of government to make correction on their behavior as the consensus of the violent intrusion of privacy done by government being reasonable.


Surveillance Boondoggles Is Not What They Do

BOSS(Biometric Optical Surveillance System)- the face scan system is announced to be ready in the in the near future by Homeland security Department. About this program many feel uncomfortable while their facial feature being scanned at any possible spot and preserved in record along with real criminals. Further more, trust issue between government and citizens on information confidentiality comes as the main concern. People are not feeling good about personal information being handle even by an irrelevant third party, not to mention that the government will not be considered as veracious enough to  guarantee for  crime investigation purpose and for serve the best to the public only.

Wary about the N.S.A.’s aggressive warrantless surveillance and potential governmental abuse of privacy, as well as the powerful essence of governmental technological resources, armed enforcement and business connection with profit organizations, people wind up being suspicious and nervous about the continuous extraction of personal information without notice by government for unknown purposes. In fact, what people really might be suspicious about, the governmental abuse of the  massive data collection, is not even determined or verified officially under the sun. Chances are the cross-referring of databases detached of public supervision would help interdependent government agencies spying on possible terrorists. Proof-strapped arguments will be regarded as beyond benefit of the public, not to mention the speculation on government making revenue from trading information to profit organization.


Not Ready to Fend Off

Being an open society is different from being a society obtain utter civil liberty. As a op-ed columnist from New York Times, Friedman denoted that this is what people may have to sacrifice to be protected from real threats under the best deal, or society will be much farther from a open society whose government is forced by its civilians to operate with a vulnerable protection system. Championed by David Smith, “The Wire” creator from HBO, database is already there for government to implement protection legally or not.

There is always a sweeping opinion after a terrorism event on enhancing governmental capability to avert terrorism attack and a ballooning budget for it from the public, just like the situation of post 9/11. It is never a easy job for the government to achieve efficiency on national security while bypassing scrutiny as well as certain Acts such as Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act before it may risk being strangled by public disputes. It is, admittedly, not quite legitimate for the any agency to snare message by inserting back door in encryption and isolating public from freedom of getting powerful privacy protection tools. However, above-board measurements will not be a huge threat for those ‘diffuse, committed and ideologically motivated enemy'(Friedman 2013), as they usually under perfect disguise.


It is both unhealthy and unethical to leave the agency invisible to make sorts of decisions on acquisition and usage of the database. To make the protection more favorable and sustainable, certain suggestive law and regulations should be rebuilt:

  1. Data populated will only be of convicted terrorist and criminals.
  2. Access to database should be monitored and reported under the surveillance of the public.

(McCall 2013)

3. Independent surveillance group represented by citizens should be established on monitoring acts of government agency with usage of database.

4. No commercial use of any data collected from corporations.

5. Inform the public briefing of every plan at the exemption of concrete detail that might be harmful by noticing to possible terrorists.



Since the dialogue has been open, public discussion have pushed government to adjust their programs towards law establishment which could help get extra protection and support to antiterrorism from the public instead of sugarcoat the privacy-offensive intention, since public will be educated by some press or whistle-blower around the corner.


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