Should We Sacrifice Our Privacy for Better Security | Teen Ink

Should We Sacrifice Our Privacy for Better Security

April 27, 2016
By DoubleA2 BRONZE, Columbus, New Jersey
DoubleA2 BRONZE, Columbus, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 3 comments

In 2013, we heard about a person who had apparently leaked U.S documents and was now being called a “traitor”. A person by the name of Edward Snowden. And no, we are not talking about President Snowden from the Hunger Games.

Edward Snowden, a government contractor, gave classified documents to the media in hopes of informing the public of the shocking news that the U.S. government uses surveillance programs to gather phone logs and internet data on millions of ordinary, average Americans. The U.S. government responded by claiming that the only purpose of the surveillance was to ensure our security. Then, they also declared Edward Snowden a traitor. My question is: if the surveillance was only to protect us, why not tell us about it ?

The problem with the government overseeing our private life is that it could be used to incriminate people. For example, if you are suspected of dealing drugs and you just happen to use a website or chat room that drug dealers use, the government could possibly condemn you based on that knowledge. I think it is possible for the government to be able to strike a healthy balance between protecting the country and our privacy. But in order to achieve this healthy balance, they have to change a lot of things.

I understand that we need tight security. After all, there has been an increased number of shootings and terrorist attacks. Who can forget the recent Paris shooting or the events of 9/11? In a recent survey on BBC, it shows that 372 mass shootings happened in the U.S. in 2015. Around 475 people were killed. We need tighter security but is it seriously worth our privacy?

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