Friday, February 5, 2016

PLN Summary/Response- Peer Edited
Ben Franklin, in 1759, portrayed the danger of giving away personal information for safety reasons. In a quote said by Franklin, he explains that those who are willing to give away their freedoms for personal safety do not deserve the safety or freedom which will be provided by handing over the information. Ben Franklin defines the risk of providing personal information, even if it results in safety.
Ben Franklin’s quote correctly demonstrates the danger of handing over personal information because although it may be for safety purposes, it actually results in a lack of safety.
Although this quote was written in 1759, it is demonstrated in modern times. For example, although red-light cameras help to keep the streets safe, they also violate privacy. Men’s Health Magazine explains how these cameras violate personal privacy when they say, “To figure out where it’s always 1984, we gathered intelligence on the presence of all kinds of cameras: traffic, red light, and police surveillance (TrafficLand.com, Photo Enforced.com, and local police and state transportation departments).” The article argues that modern society is comparable to the society in 1984 by Ray Bradbury because people are constantly under surveillance. According to the recent study, Denver is only outranked in the number of cameras by Washington and Houston, and has more cameras than larger cities like Chicago and Boston. This study shows that the use of surveillance violates liberties and therefore is not right, just as Ben Franklin suggests in his quote. However, the cameras have kept roads much safer, and other actions taken by the government have helped to keep its citizens safe. For example, under the Patriot Act, the government has tapped into phones lines and taken other actions to prevent terrorist attacks. Joe Biden explains the goal of the government in terms of the Patriot Act when he says, "the FBI could get a wiretap to investigate the mafia, but they could not get one to investigate terrorists. To put it bluntly, that was crazy! What's good for the mob should be good for terrorists” (www.justice.gov). Joe Biden describes the government’s concern about terrorism and the fact that they do not have easy access to information which could help them prevent attacks. The government’s actions such as tapping into phone lines and setting up red-light cameras help to protect against danger such as terrorist attacks and reckless driving. At first glance, it seems as though the government’s decisions keep its people safe under their guard. It is easy to understand how someone could interpret their actions in such a way because cameras help to control streets and a major terrorist attack has not occurred since 9/11. However, an important subject is skipped over. The government’s Patriot Act program has been dubbed as illegal for violating the right to privacy. The measures taken by the government are unconstitutional, for privacy is being violated every time a phone call is intercepted and Internet communication is examined. Instead of a few suspicious phone calls being intercepted, phone calls all around the country are being tapped into. The government has taken their surveillance too far, for they have violated personal freedoms along the way. Giving up personal freedoms is not worth the safety for someone is allowing the government to take away other safeties. Ben Franklin describes how dangerous and irrational it is to hand over freedoms for safety, because he argues that safety is taken away in doing so.
Works Cited
"What Is the USA Patriot Web." What Is the USA Patriot Web. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2016.
"DenverPols.com." Colorado Pols. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2016.

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