Privacy vs. Surveillance Persuasive Essay by Top Papers

Privacy vs. Surveillance
A discussion on where we should draw the line between privacy and surveillance.
# 134205 | 2,500 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2007 | US
Published on Dec 01, 2007 in Hot Topics (Terror and 9/11) , Political Science (Terrorism)

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The paper argues that privacy is very important in a liberal, democratic state and that it should be extended to the fullest practicable extent. At the same time, however, the paper notes that privacy concerns have to be balanced against the understandable need to protect others in society - this is especially true in a day and age of global terrorism. As a result of all this, the writer proposes that we should draw the line on surveillance in the following way: in the public space (most notably the work space) we should permit video surveillance, visual surveillance, and intermittent "checks" on employees (including their personal belongings) just as long as the surveillance (and resultant searches) adheres to the standard of reasonableness articulated by the United States Supreme Court in O'Connor v. Ortega (1987). Turning to the private sphere, this writer holds that the much tougher standard of probable cause should be employed when it comes to watching and/or searching a citizen's private dwelling - mostly because he believes that there is less imminent danger to the public if an illegal act is transpiring here than in, say, the workplace. In any case, a significant component of this paper is also set aside to looking at different types of surveillance approaches or activities and when and where each one is defensible - and when and where each one is not. In the end, the writer concludes that our society does itself a grave injury by not ensuring that the prying eyes of the government cannot intrude into the inner sanctum of our lives.

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