Summary Response: Liberty vs. Safety
A quote made by Ben Franklin in 1759 states that in order to obtain a little bit of safety one has to give up their liberty. Ben Franklin accurately portrays the priority of safety over liberty, because of the control the government has in American society.
In June of 2012, a report on Denver’s surveillance cameras came up in an article stating that Denver is the third “most watched” city in America. This was a concern to many people one of which stated, “ Because these programs were sold as public safety enhancements but are widely viewed as a cash grab, it undermines public trust to maintain photo enforcement programs that are profitable but whose safety impact has not been conclusively shown.” This shows the unreliability that the government has for its people. The lack of trust represented by the government brings to mind the question, is this security really for the good of our safety or is it for the good of the government’s investigations?
However, The government’s efforts to prevent terrorist attacks lie in the ability to keep its people safe from harm. The monitoring of the internet can prove helpful in this case. In september of 2013, CBS news took a poll to see people’s personal opinion on the government’s security. “three-quarters said they approved of the government’s tracking phone records of Americans suspected of terrorist activity. Nearly the same number approved of the United States’ monitoring the Internet activities of people living in foreign countries.” So while the government’s security can interfere into our privacy, it can also prove to be useful in preventing terrorist attacks and other threatening situations.One could argue that although the government’s security is interrupting our privacy, America is still
the freest country in the world. This position is reasonable because America provides a freedom that
is not available in many other countries, however this argument raises a fundamental question: What
is more important, our freedom or our privacy? While freedom is a right according to the American
constitution, we are giving up freedom as the government disturbs our privacy. In conclusion, Privacy
and liberty are one in the same, both communicating the idea of freedom; a right we cannot have
with the domestic spying of the government.