Watching Them, Watching Us: Government Surveillance

Does privacy really exist? Image James I Think Your Cover is Blown is courtesy of FlickrCC,23912576@N05/2962194797

Does privacy really exist? Image James I Think Your Cover is Blown is courtesy of FlickrCC,23912576@N05/2962194797

It is hardly news that the government has been tracking our phone conversations, emails and other communications. For those who were truly shocked with the recent unveiling of the Verizon information exchange with the government – you need a good dose of reality.

The government has been “spying” on U.S. citizens since they have had the capabilities to do so (about a century).  Do we like it?  No.  But the reality is:  it will not ever go away.

Some people spout out how we are protected under the Constitution. The Constitution itself voices concerns of privacy, but it is the amendments that address privacy – just not in the way many citizens believe they do.

Protection under the Amendments

The First Amendment prohibits any law that impedes, prohibits, or interferes with a citizen’s freedom of speech.  The government isn’t preventing us from those rights when they gather data surrounding our freedom of speech. It’s what they may do with the data later that may become an issue.

Although The Fourth Amendment covers people from unreasonable search or seizure of our papers, effects, and property, it also includes the governmental right to do so if there is probable cause but within limits of a specific area or persons.

So did someone within the government just put out a wiretapping order “All the citizens of the United States” to comply with The Fourth Amendment?

This may not be as far-fetched as people think. If there wasn’t a blanket of surveillance happening before 9/11, surely The Patriot Act had sealed the deal publicly.

Section 206 of The Patriot Act allows for the government to obtain citizen communication without a named person(s) or specific place. It allows for any type of information gathering.

Secret Courts – Secret Gag Orders

Although our recent presidents have said they would allow for transparency, secret courts and gag orders will continue to exist. Our freedom of speech is no longer protected when the FBI can knock on a door to investigate a communication and warn those approached that imprisonment will occur if they tell anyone of the incident.

Turning the Tables

The recent analyst that came forward should be applauded.  He helped reminds us what we should already know – Big Brother is always watching.  Instead of feeling hopeless about government power, become a participant. Join Watchdog groups and get involved.  Big Brother may not like it, but with more technology at the fingertips of regular citizens, we’ll be watching too.

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About thewritegirlforthejob

During college, I began my writing career as a reporter for a newspaper. After graduating with honors in 2004, I continued my journalism and public relations education at Barry University and Empire State College(graduating with a BA). As a freelance writer, I have over 100+ published works and have had the honor of authoring the commissioned book, History Restored. Since starting my writing career, I've edited more books for authors rather than complete my own - since work comes first before I have the pleasure to write. I've been very lucky to be given the gift of having a very supportive family that has allowed me to share my passion of creating and writing and can already see my youngest wanting a page of her own soon.
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4 Responses to Watching Them, Watching Us: Government Surveillance

  1. Pingback: A propesed amendment to explicitely include the right to privacy | Bridging the Divide

  2. Pingback: When Social Networking Can Hurt You | Navigating in the World of Blog

  3. It seems I haven’t been following THIS blog on my reader. I corrected the oversight.

    I wasn’t at all surprised by Snowden’s revelations. I assumed such surveillance was going on.

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