Research question: Should the U.S government be able to wiretap without letting its citizens know?
Purpose: The main purpose of this work is to establish whether the US government should be controlled and be limited to wiretap to prevent it from abusing and misusing it powers when it is allowed or it should be permitted to wiretap for the good of its citizens.
Bias check: First of all the topic interests me because I believe if one have nothing to hide then there is nothing to fear. Second, wiretapping has been utilized positively to curb criminal activities since it has been or will be used to unveil committed crimes thus providing evidence of the purported crime. Therefore, I would support wiretapping if it is only done in consideration to criminal activities since terrorists commit illegal activities affecting and killing innocent citizens then the US government law allow wiretapping without the citizen’s knowledge.
Should the U.S government be able to wiretap without letting its citizens know? With advanced technology like wiretapping the governments can now reach beyond it border in an attempt to protect all the citizens like never before. However with the new technology like wiretapping, the main question that arises regards their legality. For instance in 1960s and 70s the US government participated in wiretapping. Widespread wiretapping programs were used to spy groups thought to be a threat to the government. However it went ahead spying Dr Luther King Jr. which brought it to wild criticism and it was brought to analysis by first considering what the American constitution says about wiretapping. The essay will establish whether the US government should be controlled and be limited to wiretap so as to prevent it from abusing and misusing it powers when it is allowed or it should be permitted to wiretap for the good of its citizens.
Wiretapping is useful in defending American citizens
The American government has the powers to use any means to protect the American citizens from any form of terrorism. Monitoring of any criminal activities by the government agencies at any time from any place in the state has been enabled thus reducing crime levels (Sinyapkin, 2014) Thus for them to accomplish their task successfully wiretapping should be at the forefront. However, wiretapping is viewed as a violation of citizen’s privacy striking unending debate of those for and against. With the army in place and all other resources set aside to defend the country’s peace and security, America still faces terrorist threats and attacks. This implies that much effort is required to defend the country. This brings us to the ultimate need to use wiretapping technology.
Intelligence agencies should use wiretapping technology to monitor those planning to harm innocent citizens. War on terror is not like any other war which has been fought by the Americans. The enemy is quite fast, slippery and the rules are quite fuzzy. In addition, the very homeland has turned out to be the place for hiding and planning attacks. Given such reasons the American government requires the power to wiretap. After the September 11 attacks it was quite clear that the American security agencies had very little knowledge about Al Qaeda plots to attack the WTO. They could neither detect the terror group operative entry nor could they predict where they were planning to strike. The only solution is to wiretap and detect any follow up attacks (Mullikin and Rahman, 2010).
Some laws cannot address terrorism because they are outdated. However, creating new laws does not mean to hinder any military operations. Therefore for the American government to consistently address the issue of insecurity, it is important to continuously monitor all the communication and particularly those suspected to be from terrorists plus all their communication channels. For the government to achieve this it requires support from the citizens and it starts by supporting the new laws that allow the government wiretap. The citizens should as well comply with the government requirements as well as supporting any constitution amendment without hesitation (Sinyapkin, 2014).
Wiretapping interferes with individual privacy
The main nervousness behind wiretapping is that the US government gathers and keeps forever huge amount of individual information thus bringing the main fear of whether citizens are moving towards an era where the government knows everything about the citizens? With such fear the main question arises whether it’s possible for the government to keep all the citizens safe and at the same time not overstep the borders of person privacy as granted by the US constitution? The way people define privacy has changed over time but generally privacy can be understood as the right of keeping personal information free from being tampered with.
In current world we witness personal privacy being tampered with all the time. This has been done through unsolicited phone videos and pictures being taken without our permission, spoofing, identity theft, spamming and so forth. During this high technology era, citizens believe they have minimal control over their privacy. They can turn off their cookies, use of blocking tools, prosecuting identity thieves etc. However, an area they don’t have control over is the government surveillance. Constitutionally, it is the right of every citizen to enjoy their privacy as far as they are not violating any law (Stewart, 2014).
According to Stewart (2014) the government has overtime wiretapped people conversations often and the information obtained used in court rooms. She further claims government using wiretaps is an orthodox way of getting information. Therefore as the government has wiretaps today it will continue using the same technology in future thus putting individual privacy at a risk. Therefore if US government is allowed to wiretap, it will take control of every aspect of its citizen life thereby implementing total rule as well as doing away with the known constitution that guarantees privacy (McFarland, 2012)
Both notes agree with the fact that wiretaps are used by the US government for the benefits of the citizens thus it is here to stay. The US government has used wiretaps reduce terrorist attacks as well as using tapped conversations used in court rooms. Therefore wiretapping technology is there to stay for the benefit of every citizen. However, the difference is wiretapping has been used to interfere with privacy of individuals but the first text tends to view such interference as a benefit to the US government.
Interfering with individuals’ privacy leaves them more vulnerable to large institutions as well as the government’s unfair manipulation thus restricting individuals’ autonomy. The war against wiretapping is not dying soon as one side believes it is the right of the government to protect the state from any terrorists attack while other believes freedom is much important and the constitution rights should never be compromised. But according to my take wiretaps use without the knowledge of the citizens should be allowed.