Security vs. Privacy

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“If I’m not doing anything wrong, why should I care if the government gathers information on my phone calls and internet activity? The reason they are gathering information is to help stop terrorist attacks. Stopping terrorists is the most important thing! They don’t care about me, and the programs the government uses to gather information are an important way, maybe even the best way, to keep Americans safe.”

Question:

Is that your attitude?

Or, on the other hand, do you think the government should be prohibited from gathering private information (even just metadata, which records the who, when and where of calls, but not the actual content of communications) about phone calls and internet use of American citizens unless there’s a court order authorizing a specific investigation?

How do you see it? How would you strike that balance? Have we given up too much privacy/liberty to buy our safety? Or have we been safe because we have struck the correct balance?

I’m including below a few links to articles discussing this issue, just to give you a start in case you haven't really thought about this before.

You May Have 'Nothing to Hide' But You Still Have Something to Fear

The Eternal Value of Privacy

How Do Americans Weigh Privacy Versus National Security?

How Must America Balance Security and Liberty

Survey: Majority Of Americans Think NSA Spying Is More Important Than Privacy

Safety is more important than privacy

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