Domestic Surveillance (cons)
Public, as well as private arguments over the desirability of domestic surveillance, are almost traceable to the beginning of the American nation. Fear of the intrusiveness of British military action and law enforcement had a significant role in stirring the American Revolution, and very robust protections against unwarranted government surveillance are inculcated into the founding documents of the nation, principally the Fourth Amendment.
The liberties enshrined in the fourth amendment have been interpreted by legal historians and the courts both as providing protection against warrant less searches and seizures, and have also functioned as the foundation for an incipient right to privacy.
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The claims that the NSA only collects metadata means that the surveillance programs also collects huge volumes of data that has no value to counter terrorism which ultimately undermines the effectiveness of such programs. While proponents have argued that this non-pertinent data is not protected under the fourth Amendment, advancement in technology has changed the nature of this data and thus, could threaten the civil liberties of individuals.
On this basis, this paper concludes that domestic surveillance is unethical and even though its intentions are good, the continuance of such programs ultimately threatens the privacy rights of American citizens.
Billitteri, T. J., et al. “Government Surveillance: Is government spying on Americans excessive?” CQ Researcher 23.30 (2013): 717-740. Print.
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