Domestic Surveillance

Submitted By lfhernan
Words: 423
Pages: 2

One of the most contentious topics of recent past is the government’s domestic surveillance activities. The debate between national security and the individual right to privacy is a more complex issue than just the moral argument covers. Other aspects include the role of government, the use and storage of such personal information, and of course the economic impact.

Over the years the government has created legislature to lawfully obtain and monitor individual citizens' personal information in the name of national security and “the cost of war”. This “cost” of our democratic individual privacy seems to have no boundaries. Even in war there are Rules of Engagement in place to minimize collateral damage and fratricide. Clandestine government surveillance programs should not have carte blanche to monitor any and all U.S. citizens’ personal digital data. Signals Intelligence in combat is used on decisive targets and focused to obtain or deny information from only that target. Domestic surveillance in the name of the War on Terrorism should be treated with the same, if not more, restraint.

The economic impacts of domestic surveillance are also far reaching. In the wake of the controversy surrounding the National Security Agency’s clandestine program, PRISM, there is potential for the U.S. to lose billions in the tech sector. The implication of U.S. internet and telecommunications giants such as Google and Verizon, have made both the domestic and international security conscious data user weary. If consumers decide that the benefits of privacy outweigh the risks of using and storing data with U.S. companies, we could see a dramatic loss in the strength we hold in the digital arena (Zara, 2013). U.S. users and companies could potentially flock to international providers. Further, foreign nationals and companies abroad using U.S. service