After reading the cases Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade and Bowers v. Hardwick, it got me thinking about privacy and how much the government controls our lives in all actuality. They not only create policy for our safety and benefit of our communities, state, or nation, but they also have law enforcement carry out these laws and policies. The government gives us a social security number the day we are registered and that is our number for life. We believe that we live in a free country, but how much freedom do we actually have? Granted we do have more freedom compared to other countries, but how much more? It made me realize that even if we are in the land of the free, we still are fighting for the right of privacy.
What kind of privacy are we fighting for? The right to text, write, send emails, navigate the internet and call freely to our family and friends without the government wiretapping us like Nixon with his Watergate scandal. We might be fighting for the right of privacy to not participate in the census and say what your ethnicity is, or fill out what your ethnicity is in national exams. Possibly the right to do as we wish in the privacy of our own home and lives. How long and how far will we allow the government go in controlling our private lives?
The attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001 were horrific and opened the eyes of all the citizens living in the United Sates. We realized that we had to become stricter in all forms of homeland security to not only protect our citizens, but our entire nation as well. The Patriot Act was implemented by President George W. Bush in which the government would be able to use technology to tap into citizen technology. To explicate the government can tap into text messages, phone calls or emails in order to prevent possible terror acts. People were fine with it because they were hurt after the attacks. The citizens, including my mother, understood that we were in danger, our national security was first. If you would like to read more about the Patriot Act, below is a link for more information.
Now, we have news reports on phone companies listening into our conversations or keeping an archive of our text messages. Below is a link to the CNN report of the Verizon scandal in which the Patriot Act is involved. The government can look at our emails, read our internet posts and so on. Yes, the government is in the right to look into our things for national security but some of it is too much. Especially when the government can check your debit and credit card purchases, why do they need to do that when you are innocent? Are we okay with this? Do we need this? Is it time to fight back and protect our privacy once again like these cases did to the Supreme Court?
I think we should step up and fight for our right of privacy especially dealing with technology. As a wise man once said, “They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety,” (Benjamin Franklin). We did exactly what Benjamin Franklin said not to do. After the 9.11 attacks, we gave up our liberty for the sake of the Patriot Act just for that little bit of security to catch terrorists and find out of potential attacks. Now, we do not deserve neither liberty no safety because many of our citizens have lost the nerve to fight for what they believe in. Our blood no longer boils when we find out about injustice or something is happing against us, instead we live our lives like busy little ants in our colonies. At times many people do not vote or create change because they think someone else will do it for them, someone else will spark that change. Granted, there are some people who are activists for change and they assemble every weekend or every day to promote change, but it is not enough. Below are links of amazing activist groups fighting for the right of privacy in the internet and an article about freedom in the United States.
We must stand up! I believe we have to stand up for the change we want, in this case, fight for our privacy. I believe the government has no right listening to my conversation with my mother, read my email to my cousin in Texas, or check what I am purchasing at the mall. I deserve liberty that this country was founded upon and will utilize that liberty to speak my mind about these acts of injustice.