Security Vs Privacy






Security Vs Privacy

A country at war with other countries as well as disguised enemies within its borders needs to be on the look out for any hints concerning them, meaning that several rules meant to tighten the security of its people cannot be an option, but a necessity. Considering our country is at war with other countries, it is the duty of our government to not only ensures security from external attacks, but also internal attacks from the enemies within our borders. Therefore, the government should be thinking of ways that ensure security for its citizens. However, the citizens must also cooperate with the government if the enemy is to be hunted down. Hence, government should ensure total surveillance of any possible hints where the enemy could be hiding.

At this age, technology has advanced to a limitless level, where an enemy can be within the country virtually and conduct activities from any location in the world without having to be within our borders physically, through access to our technology. Many companies and corporations are investing heavily in information technology and collection of data concerning security issues as well as surveillance meant to secure their most valued information. The government should be no exemption, and should ensure surveillance of the information that circulates within its borders to ensure security. The government is now requiring development of communication technology aimed at improving the surveillance within the country.

Welfare of the people in a country is the government’s most vital responsibility. Security is one of the welfares a government is concerned with, and personal matters of an individual should not hinder any efforts of maintaining security for the public, since they are outweighed greatly. Hence, the government should have access to private information as long as it is for the welfare of the people. Despite people having a right to privacy, the constitution does not state this explicitly, meaning that it cannot be an absolute right. Considering that, surveillance is meant to be watching of a suspect’s activities discretely, it can involve several areas, such as listening to phone calls, especially private, reading their emails, and tracking all their private communication. It can also involve going through their bank transactions to have a follow up on what their money does, and to where it circulates. All this is private information that could play a crucial role in nailing an enemy, and preventing a crime or an attack from an enemy, which is what is meant by security for the citizens. Therefore, people cannot say they have an absolute right to privacy when such information is vital for their security. More so, every right has its limits. For instance, a person’s right to free speech does not allow them to go shouting giving information that could jeopardize security, or even tarnish another person’s reputation. For the sake of security, privacy cannot be absolute considering this is where enemies could hide their information, and getting to it would require intrusion of privacy.

The good thing is that people of America are aware of this fact, and do allow the government to carryout its mandate of ensuring security, especially after the terrorist attack of September 11. The constitution does not explicitly state individual privacy, it does explicitly state what rights the government has over privacy matters (Browne, 2003). The two sides in this debate are those for a country with tight security, while the other side is for a total free country. However, there cannot be one absolute side, and both can have equilibrium. Nevertheless, giving total liberty to everybody would mean allowing all people to do what they want, and there would be no security. Hence, the government should have a right to invade privacy for the sake of the country’s security, which outweighs any individual privacy.  Moreover, no American wants a repeat of the September 11 event ever again. Hence, majority of the citizens are more than willing to cooperate with the government for the sake of their security whenever a terrorism issue is raised. In accordance to FISA and the Patriotic act, the records and traffic of telecommunication companies stand to be accessed by government officials even without warrants as long as it is for the national security purpose.



Browne, H. (2003). Does the Constitution Contain a Right to Privacy? Retrieved from


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