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Opinion: Surveillance state is ever-increasing

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Americans’ right to privacy has always been a hot topic among public and government officials. Since 9/11, the privacy rights of American individuals have been slowly diminishing. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky released a short video this week discussing the issue of privacy and how the Obama administration has created a “surveillance state.”

In the video, Paul discusses the recent press release from the Senate that stated, “no Americans are not being spied upon.” Paul believes that this “surveillance state” is something that is infringing on American’s general freedoms, especially the freedom of privacy. He stated, “Are we so afraid of terrorists that were willing to give up the very freedoms that separate us from them?” He went into more detail about how much information can be gathered from just a Visa bill: what medicines one takes, if one sees a psychiatrist and where one goes shopping. In other words, Paul believes that the privacy rights and freedoms of the American people are in jeopardy of completely disappearing, and he is not wrong.

The events of Sept. 11 caused great fear throughout the nation. It was a wakeup call for Americans: the nation is not protected from a physical attack of other nations. This led to a government interference with protection and privacy, specifically the Patriot Act. Ever since, it feels like privacy has been completely pushed to the side.

The Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, is a fantastic example; they have become a federal agency that has zero respect for people’s personal space, privacy and property. From personal experience, they have ruined two pairs of my boots, because the TSA worker threw my shoes on the ground. The zipper on the boot got stuck on the full-body scanner and ripped.

There is zero respect for American’s privacy anymore. With the recent National Security Agency scandals, constant information gathering from government agencies, phone tapping, and other spy techniques, no one American is safe from the prying eye of the government. Paul has a point: if the American people do not stand up now, privacy and freedom will be diminished.

 

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