Government Surveillance State Supervision Panacea Or Terror

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From these two videos I learned in this digital age, there is a phenomenon or problem where social media is used globally and people will not hesitate to give some personal data to create a personal account. In addition to general information, the data often contains things that we like, places we visit often, or people we often meet. The data is collected in a system called ‘big data’ sent by the company, so that product marketing advertisements that appear on our social media are more specific and appropriate to marketing according to personal needs. 

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However, important information in the ‘big data’ is very important for the country is not important for the ‘competition’ that is sold by companies to the state? Imagine, the ISIS agreement proved to be able to recruit members of terrorists through social media, or how to carry out transnational violations committed through digital, can be detected by the state because of mass surveillance of social media. Can this increase security?

Two discourses play in this case, would it be better to maintain the privacy of citizens? Or is it better to give priority to state security even if privacy must be sacrificed? When answering in international law, the United Nations under the United Nations Human Rights Council has stated that mass surveillance is a violation of human rights if carried out in deviations without clear legal procedures (UNHRC 2018). However, it does not guarantee whether countries with high technology capabilities such as the United States will stop doing so. Therefore, returning to these two perspectives about which is more important, privacy or security?

As in the United States, the NSA was established as a government body which is a cryptographic agency seeing that cyberspace is a new threat to national security because criminal acts and terrorism have taken advantage of the internet’s sophistication to facilitate every action that will be taken. The United States government considers terrorists and extremist groups currently using the power of the internet, especially social media as a tool to spread messages and recruit new members to target young people. Electronic surveillance is an attempt by the United States government in dealing with this threat.

Since the 9/11 attacks, the world has indeed been focused on the search for terrorists who became actors in the attack at that time. Surveillance that relies on information technology has become one of the ways to track terrorism networks. However, basically in Amendment 4 the Bill of Rights has stated that the government will protect the right of privacy for its people from unclear supervision, but the practice of supervision can be done if the reasons and targets are clear in the supervision. Thus, this contrasts with the practice of supervision by the United States after the leak of documents by Snowden in 2013.

NSA has several programs that help to gather various information needed by the United States government. After Edward Snowden leaked classified documents owned by the NSA in 2013, programs owned by the NSA began to be revealed, namely Xkeyscore, which became the first program to be published in the media by The Guardian. The program is a program that can reach all people throughout the world through data searches on the internet in the form of emails, documents, usernames and passwords, and other personal communications.

The reconnaissance action by the NSA proved to have violated the foundations of the democratic process and constitutional rights which might also deepen the abuse of civil rights. This reflects the ambiguous and paradoxical practices of the United States. A country that stands out loudly about democracy and human rights, has shown behavior that actually undermines democracy and human rights. In this context, the United States failed to show a pioneer in sharing universal and global values ​​for the world order

Government surveillance also occurs in China where the government collects large amounts of information about its citizens with tight controls through the internet, the banking sector, and local governments. Through this channel, the government has access to data ranging from income tax payments and credit card bills to academic honesty and online interaction. The government believes that this data point can help in assessing the social status and quality of individual credit. 

The social credit system aims to generate credit scores using these traditional, social and online inputs. With such a comprehensive assessment, the government can provide incentives to citizens who have access to luxury hotels, travel rights, scholarships, and other benefits, while punishing individuals by increasing insurance premiums, reducing the number of loans, or limiting access to certain services without interference hands directly in each case.

In my opinion, criticism of this system is that it can be used to limit freedom of speech and punish those who are critical of the government, while those who support it argue that it will automate this kind of evaluation to avoid choosing individuals and instead encourage good behavior in all citizens. I am of the opinion that China’s proposed social score exceeds totalitarian state policies, even alienating the privacy rights of its own citizens which causes easy conflicts, dissent, disputes and discrimination. Finally, although monitoring and data collection by government institutions in general are aimed at improving services to the public or customers, there is a high likelihood of the emergence of threats of national security attacks.

Thus, in an era where large amounts of data collection are increasingly being carried out, arrangements regarding the protection of personal data should be a priority of the government to protect the privacy rights of its citizens as well as from threats to the security of personal data, and to clarify the limits for various parties related to the use of data the private community that is in them. This is important considering the trend of collecting large amounts of data will continue to increase. Thus, legal certainty to guarantee the protection of personal data becomes important, especially in the digital era where a lot of data is stored digitally. 

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