Monday, October 13, 2014

Government v. Everybody Else

Bianca Hillier

Let's state the obvious.

The government has clashed with the public ever since the idea of government, or even leadership, began. Their policies, methods, goals... everything raises concerns with the public and opinion oppose each other. Sometimes these tensions increase to the boiling point, and physical expressions of opposition to the government occurs.

Photo by Lisa Provence

But you think the riots happening now are bad? You think they are extreme and radicals protest too intensely? You better be thanking your lucky stars that the government does not release every piece of information they hold. They don't release it through their own press releases, but they also do not let journalists release certain things that only their publications have access to.

*Insert opinion here*

I support this restriction 100%. Despite being a journalist who IS thoroughly committed to being the ears and eyes for the public and IS dedicated to providing the truth, I believe some pieces of information are meant to be kept within the security authorities of our nation.

Do others agree?

One of the most publicized example of somebody who does not agree with my ideals is Edward Snowden. Snowden is an American computer professional who leaked confidential information and documents from the National Security Agency starting in June 2013. His actions have proved to be extremely controversial and extremely covered by the media.
Photo from Tea Party Tribune
Whether or not he is right, that is up to the U.S. citizen to decide. As on can imagine, though, there are many different viewpoints regarding this case.

The Secret Secrets

By keeping up with the way society is going and with the common news articles about hackers getting access to consumers' personal and banking information, it is reasonable to assume that most Americans realize, to an extent, that they are not as safe as they believe they are. This unfortunate fact, however, does not simply relate to the government in America. In our society, retailers and large corporations hold an enormous amount of power. They recently have began tracking the public, as well, just as the government does. They track online activity, the amount of times you mention shopping in emails/texts, and how long you stay in each section of the store for, just to name a few. 

The difference between this and the government tracking us is that it is the government's sole job to keep us safe; from my perspective, if that means you need to read my emails to make sure I am not a terrorist, go for it. I will happily sacrifice some of my personal privacy in order to stray from bombings in my community. Retailers and companies, however, are not meant to keep us safe; sure, they are striving to provide us with the best possible service and experience, but does this truly require spying on us?

To me, safety> sales. 

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