Plotz Essay

The fourth amendment states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. ” The government is invading this amendment by spying on the citizens without warrant. The government shouldn’t have the right to spy unless they have a probable cause to do so.

People are aware that the government is spying on them through surveillance cameras, cell phones, and the internet. One way the government spies on citizens is through surveillance cameras. “According to documents leaked on wikileaks, a company run by ex-CIA agents has created a piece of technology, called Trapwire, that siphons data from surveillance cameras in stores, casinos and other businesses around the country,” (Newitz). These surveillance cameras are used to monitor for thieves and criminals.

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These cameras are found on public streets, most commonly found at traffic lights. If someone goes through a red light the cameras will send a picture to the police headquarters and then a ticket could be sent to their mailbox. Another way the government spies on people is by tracking cell phones using GPS. The government can even tap into personal phone calls. If there is nothing to hide then what’s the big problem? The problem is the government is using phones as a way to get into people’s private lives.

In Plotz article Privacy Is Overrated he says “You can more or less distill the essence of the privacy-rights movement to this idea: Big Brother and Big Business observes us too often without our consent” (68). The worst part is that the government listens in on peoples calls without permission from them. There is an upside to the government listening in on calls is allows them to catch a criminal or possible terrorist. This doesn’t make it right for the government to listen in on innocent citizens.

Also, the government spies on people through social networks such as Facebook. “A privacy watchdog has uncovered a government memo that encourages federal agents to befriend people on a variety of social networks, to take advantage of their readiness to share — and to spy on them,” (Federal). The government is looking for hackers, spammers and anyone who poses a threat to them. This includes possible terrorist threats on social networks. Plotz says “Surveillance cameras are watching me in malls and sometimes on public streets.

Even my own computer is spying on me… If my company isn’t watching, perhaps the FBI is: Its carnivore program rafts through vast rivers of e-mail flow in search of criminals” (67). People have the right to privacy but the government is using surveillance cameras, phones and the internet to spy on our privacy. It doesn’t seem fair for them to spy on citizens, yet they do so every day without thinking of how it invades privacy. It could be that they don’t even care, or they think it is keeping the citizens safe.

Works Cited “Federal Agents Urged to ‘Friend’ People on Social Networks, Memo Reveals. ” Fox News. com. FOX News Network, 14 Oct. 2010. Web. 28 Sept. 2013. Newitz, Annalee. “Wikileaks Reveals “TrapWire,” a Government Spy Network That Uses Ordinary Surveillance Cameras. ” Io9. com. N. p. , 11 Aug. 2012. Web. 28 Sept. 2013. Plotz, David. “Privacy Is Overrated. ” What Matters in America: Reading and Writing about Contemporary Culture. By Gary Goshgarian. 3rd Ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2006. 66-70. Print.


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