Privacy Vs. Safety

By: Lisette Yanez


Lately, the importance of personal privacy has been questioned as law enforcers detest not being able to hack into the technologies of possible suspects and known terrorists.

Americans today have grown accustomed to the modern and ever-changing technology; the comfort and service it provides makes everyday life a lot easier. So much so that people trust phones, laptops, and similar devices to keep all of their personal information along with other private and possibly embarrassing interests.

 When it comes to local and/or national security, the FBI and PDs easily try to disregard the people’s right to deny them access to their personals w/o a warrant.4th_amendment

Recently, there was a struggle between a man and his local Best Buy. The man had to sue because he has suspicions of Best Buy working with the FBI. This came to be when the man’s laptop crashed and he took it to Best Buy (where he bought it from) who then shipped it to the appropriate location for repairs.dont-worry-cell-phone-tapping

During the repairing process, the technicians claimed to have stumbled upon child pornography on his laptop but the evidence showed that the porn  was in the deleted files. This begs the question, was Best Buy snooping in the hopes of finding anything? Also since Best Buy reported their findings to the FBI, does that mean that they’re working together to invade people’s privacy and arrest the one’s they find dirt on? nsa-like-me

This is unconstitutional and should be shunned upon; the man could’ve lent his laptop to someone and they could’ve deleted the history and such, unaware that nothing is ever truly deleted off of the internet. Under this circumstance, the man would’ve never known about it until snoopers like Best Buy dug it up.

civillibertiescartoonMany people were quick to defend, however, by saying that we need to get those perverts somehow and if skimming through their personal items is the only way, it’s a necessary evil.

imagesThis issue also came up in an earlier lawsuit where, instead, the FBI tried to sue Apple for not unlocking an iPhone for them that allegedly belonged to a deceased terrorists and could possible clue them in on any future attacks against the US.

The FBI claimed that the national security of the United States was more important than the personal privacy of a dead terrorist. Should then privacy be a privilege rather than a right?  1

This issue came up again when the U.S. Supreme Court was deciding on whether police should be equipped with textalyzers or not. These devices, made by Cellebrite, are to be used, like breathalyzers, to find out whether a car accident was the driver’s fault or not.

The police would scan the cell phone of the involved drivers and it would be able to tell them if they were on their phone at the time of the accident.

Worries about how much the textalyzer would be able to scan off of the cell phones quickly brought up controversy. Soon people were questioning how good the technology was and who would have it. People on the street could be stopped by the police and their information would be in danger.

Now, many also claim that if you aren’t doing anything bad or getting into any trouble, then you have nothing to worry about. However, accidents happen in everyday life and no one ever knows what will happen when you get in the car.

Thus the questions come up again; how far should the authorities be allowed to go to protect its citizens? How much of citizen’s privacy does the US constitution protect? I suppose what we all want to know is just to what extent does everything go?


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