Home Opinions The government spying on its citizens is not safe for anyone

The government spying on its citizens is not safe for anyone

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Illustration by: Israel Gonzalez | Staff Illustrator

By Ryan Seidel

Crime and safety, much like technology has drastically evolved over the course of the past century. The most apparent change is in the distribution of conversation. While Paul Revere warned of the approaching British by word of mouth, email and a plethora of messaging apps allow communication to transcend distance, and in some cases language.

In Oct. 2001, as part of the terrible aftermath of 9/11, President George W. Bush signed into effect the United States Patriot Act. Under the guise of “uniting and strengthening America by providing appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terrorism,” the U.S. government now has the power to legally intercept any and all digital information under the pretense of safety. This ranges from wiretapping to redirecting Internet usage.

Ten years later, President Barack Obama extended on the power and scope of the act to target “lone wolf” terrorism. People were, and still are, understandably fearful that the government would indict them for non-terror related actions discovered through this form of espionage. They were correct for worrying.

March 8, the organization WikiLeaks compiled and dumped several thousand files relating to the CIA and its spying capabilities.

Vault 7 organizes massive amounts of documents that touch on a number of topics: the CIA’s capability to mimic foreign hackers and give reason to sanction nations, their ability to board and monitor any device with internet capabilities and the fact that companies which produce these products were made aware of weaknesses in designs and paid to not fix them.

The CIA, through power given by past presidents, can archive and manage any individual’s entire digital profile and do what they want with information gathered without the consent of the person.

“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety,” said Benjamin Franklin.

The darkest future would be one in which the population willingly sacrifices its ability to conduct business in private on the notion that the government would not and could not protect them otherwise. The government needs to stop spying on its citizens under the guise of protecting them.

– Ryan Siedel is a business information sophomore

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