Government Surveillance Essay

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The United States government has been secretly spying on its citizens and has built a database that records every phone call made in the United States. Patrick Leahy, a senator from Vermont, said, “Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT ACT has been secretly interpreted to authorize the collection of America’s phone records on an unprecedented scale” (Leahy 1). Where does the government get the authority to do such a thing? According to Leahy, the government can only collect information that is relevant to an authorized investigation. But what authorized investigation is all of America’s phone records relevant to? Government surveillance is out of control and is undermining the basic human right to privacy in the United States. The intended purpose of government surveillance is to make a preemptive strike on terrorist attacks before they can happen. According to Lynn Reaser from Point Loma Nazarene University, “The sacrifice of a small amount of security may well be worth the benefit of saving lives” (Roger 4). To Reaser, the end justifies the means when it comes to surrendering freedom in the name of safety. Senator Susan Collins says, “One …show more content…
According to Glenn Greenwald, “History shows that the mere existence of a mass surveillance apparatus… is in itself enough to stifle dissent. A citizenry that is aware of being watched quickly becomes a compliant and fearful one” (Russel 2). Mass surveillance cannot end well for the United States. Programs like this are what whipped the Germans into submission by the Nazi Regime. Look at almost every oppressive dictatorship and one will find that there is one common denominator: the use of government surveillance to silence opposition. The United States was founded on the principle that the people have the right to free speech and the bulk surveillance system is posed to undermine that right if the people don’t fight against

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