On Privacy and Security

When looking at the Lawrence v. Texas case, the ruling seems straightforward to us now, one of the most famous cases in the history of the Supreme Court. That a body of law could arbitrate the boundaries between two consenting adults in the privacy of their own home is shocking. And perhaps America’s law system is more just now that we are able to define more clearly what is right in private. The world we live in now is very different from even fifty years ago. It is cliche, and many of us millennials have grown tired of the empty rhetoric associated with the previous statement. But we must acknowledge that the internet is a great tool, but a dangerous one. Accessibility to all sorts of materials has ever been simpler, and there are certainly positive aspects to having the world at our fingertips. 

But with the instant accessibility of information, we as Americans, and particularly as young Americans, have access to more harmful things readily available than ever before. Ordering Fake ID’s for example, can be seen as a harmless method of underage students obtaining alcohol; but in another context, ordering a false ID to board an airplane, or cross the border, or to gain access to a particular building or record, is harmful to the safety of society. As Americans, we criticize the TSA before we get on an airline, but we feel safer knowing that it is so much harder to get on an airplane. 

Right now, in our country, we are battling a war of privacy and security. And privacy is certainly not winning. We are able to cede our privacy readily so that the authorities can protect us. But giving up some personal freedoms, and online anonymity, should be a concern for us. It is therefore important in this day and age to assess where we are in the “privacy and security” debate, because as technology is advancing security will be threatened. Which one we are willing to cede more quickly can define who we are as a society. But we as a nation must be sure to ensure our individual rights, and that our privacy in our own home is to be maintained. 



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