AP Government Post #4

The federal government has stepped up surveillance of citizens in the name of combating  a terrorist threat, many issues like this deal with civil liberties and civil rights and are brought to the foreground of American politics.  How much information should the federal government have about the private lives of American citizens?

This post will close on Friday, March 26 at 5:00 PM

107 thoughts on “AP Government Post #4

  1. I believe that the government should not be allowed to look into the private lives of its citizens unless they find a clear and present threat. The government should not look into the personal lives of people because some things that people do or try should not have to be a personal matter even if it is with only the government. I believe there is a line of what the government should and should not do and the thought of everything being watched or monitored is something the government should not do.

    • I completely agree it should be dependent on clear and present danger, the tricky part is finding that danger which I think should be a responsibility given to the people and gov respectively

    • I agree, I don’t think the federal government should be monitoring people. It is just an intense invasion of privacy to have every citizen under surveillance. People should not be automatically assumed to be guilty or potentially dangerous. The government definitely does not need to watch over people unless an individual is evidently suspicious or is appearing to be causing harm, or is planning to cause harm.

    • I agree the government should not monitor until there is a present danger but it may be difficult to decide between what is a threat and what isn’t.

    • I see what your saying about not wanting the government to see information on your personal matters, but truthfully, I don’t even think the government cares about that. There are too many American’s for a government official to be reading every personal conversation of every citizen, so personal matters are most likely brushed over.

    • I agree unless there is certainty that the person is dangerous then the government shouldn’t intervene in personal lives

    • I 100% agree with you. Our private lives do not involve the government therefore they should not have access to our private lives. There is a line where the government should stay.

  2. The federal government should have little to no information about the private lives of American citizens unless it is absolutely necessary. Any attempt to spy on citizens through methods such as spying or tapping phones without preexisting evidence is an infringement on the fourth amendment, which guarantees protection against unreasonable search and seizure. The federal government should not be allowed to collect information on the private lives of American citizens without probable cause that they are committing or have committed a crime.

    • Without a doubt it would be an infringement of the 4th amendment monitoring is by far one of the worst things we can do from a civil liberty standpoint.

    • I agree, I think the federal government should not have a bunch of information on its citizens unless completely necessary.

    • I agree, the federal government should have limited access to our lives. If the citizen doesn’t have an alarming history or record, then our private lives should be restricted.

    • I definitely agree with you on this one. The government doesn’t need to collect information on us at all. Their premise that it is for “defense of the nation” is ridiculous especially when there are bigger threats to the nation.

  3. I think that the federal government shouldn’t look into citizens lives, unless there is a clear threat or any danger to the country surrounding them. It would just be too much power in their hands, The government has enough control as of now.

    • I agree with what you are saying because the government already has enough information on the public and people’s personal lives why should they need more of it to control and tell individuals what they can and cannot do.

  4. I don’t think the federal government should look too deeply into the lives of citizens. it is an invasion of privacy and it is uncomfortable. Although I do understand the need for precaution and preserving safety, I don’t think people should be investigated or be monitored unless there is reasonable suspicion. The federal government should allow citizens to maintain their personal privacy unless given a proper cause to attaining information.

    • I agree that looking too deeply into the lives of citizens is an invasion of privacy. I also think that it makes sense to look deeper if a citizen is raising suspicion, but there should always be proper cause before looking into the private life of someone.

    • I agree that a person should not be monitored unless there is reasonable suspicion. I also agree that citizens should maintain privacy unless there is a proper cause for them to need to be investigated

    • I agree even though people among the Us needed to be protected searching through personal information.The government could create others ways to attain information for individuals.

    • I agree that the federal government shouldn’t look into their citizens lives too deeply. There needs to be proper cause or reasonable suspicion. Unless the government has those reasons, a citizens private life should be concealed.

  5. The US government has no right to give search or monitoring without reasonable suspicion much like our police force. This would cause the line to be blurred on privacy which while not an explicit right is part of what makes America what it is and must be maintained, we’ve seen things like this before with the red scare and I believe that majority of Americans will report suspicious behavior and it’s more important that we make it general knowledge on how to contact officials and monitor the flow of people in and out of our nation

    • I fully agree with your comment, as the federal government should not be monitoring the private lives of any American citizens. I also really like your idea that Americans should have better knowledge of how to contact officials and that this should be more normalized.

    • I agree with the comparison to the government has no right to search us without reasonable suspicion just like the police force. I also like how you said many Americans will contact officials if they feel there is suspicious activity.

    • I agree that the government should stay out of the private lives of citizens. Where I differ from most people is that if there is any chance that somebody has committed a crime or is currently committing one, they have the right to information that they need to solve the crime (or debunk it). A body as big as the government having just one of its 330 million people’s private information is more safe than someone losing their life due to government inaction.

  6. I do not believe that the federal government should really have any information on the private lives of Americans unless it is completely necessary. If there is not reasonable suspicion or a clear and present threat, the federal government should have no involvement in the private lives of American citizens. If there is not probable cause that a person has committed a crime or will commit a crime in the future, their private lives should not be invaded and monitored by the federal government in any way.

  7. The federal government should not be able to monitor the private lives of American citizens unless they have a reason to. If a citizen is drawing up suspicion to themselves, I think it makes sense for the federal government to look into it. It would not be constitutional for the federal government to be gathering information about every citizen’s private life. They would be obstructing the civil rights and liberties to one’s privacy.

    • I agree, it can easily become a civil rights violation if left unchecked. But I believe that it is difficult to decide what citizen is suspicious without monitoring all citizens.

    • I like the statement you made about self-induced suspicion. If you do not want the government going through your private information, don’t do anything that would make them have to.

    • I agree. They shouldn’t be able to have constant access to anyone’s life, and definitely not as much information as they have. It should be only allowed if there is reasonable suspicion for a crime.

  8. The federal government should stay uninvolved until alarming patterns are being recognized. They should also prevent companies from spying on private information of citizens. The federal government should be required to have a documented reason to start spying similar to having a search warrant as reason to search a house.

    • I agree, they should have a documented reason to began to look into someone’s private life.

    • I agree. The only reason the government should be allowed to spy on someone should be if they have some sort of warrant.

    • I agree with you they should only have documental reasoning and if not then they don’t need to be spying for information on a citizen

  9. Similar to what a lot of other people were thinking, I personally do not agree with the government having insight into what I do in my own private life unless I become a problem for them actively and present a clear danger. They should only start to get some limited information on me if I am a criminal, but other than that any other information besides my name and SSN they don’t need to know at all and would be an invasion of my privacy and anyone else’s privacy.

    • I agree, it would be an invasion of privacy for them to look into your private life unless they have a good reason for it.

    • I agree that they should only know your name and identity and that you should only be a problem for them if your present a clear and present danger to the public.

  10. I believe the government should have a valid reason and warrant to look into the private life of an individual. Without one, they should have no right to do so as it would be an invasion of our privacy.

  11. The federal government should have very little private information on American citizens other than their identity. Citizens are given the right to privacy and that should not be completely taken away in order to protect terrorist threats. Unless the individual has had a past history of violent crimes, most citizens should not be heavily surveyed. The only other situation where citizens should be surveyed is suspicious activity, but then again the government can define suspicious activity however they want.

    • That’s an interesting take, but it feels like it would be such a legal mess to justify ONLY monitoring convicted criminals etc. And, to find out if someone is “suspicious” you would have to be monitoring them in the first place.

    • I do agree with you that the government should have less information or access to our private lives, but I don’t think it should be restricted as much as you believe. There are plenty of times when someone who appears to have no past records or crimes commits an act of terrorism. I think the government should be limited, but less so than to only surveying people with a criminal history. I think that suspicious activity is a good point though, but if there is suspicious activity at all, I think it is ok for the government to survey them.

  12. I do not believe the federal government should have information about the private lives of American citizens. Due to the privacy rights we have, if the country is not in danger the government should have no rights to monitor anyone. That is not their place unless it is needed. Watching what citizens do would only result in a negative outcome.

  13. Government surveillance is such a complicated and nuanced topic, and I’m not even completely sure of my opinions on it. On the surface, I would say that I don’t want to be monitored by the government. But, when I think about it, I realize that I don’t really care if my online activity is monitored. I don’t do anything illegal, so as long as your not, you shouldn’t be worried about the government watching you, right? Outside of online surveillance, I can see why others don’t want to be watched. The idea of being spied on with cameras gives a dystopian “Big Brotheresque” feeling to even the most upstanding citizen.

    • I said something similar, as much as I get why some people feel uncomfortable with the government watching them I personally don’t really care, because I don’t have anything to worry about. But I see how if left alone it could escalate to where things like free speech aren’t allowed. Maybe the more ambivalent feelings towards this topic are due to this generation being born into the era of the internet?

    • While I can agree that those in imminent danger are only those that are doing illegal things, it still worries me that the federal government even has that type of resource available for everyday citizens. Of course the government should monitor those with a concrete suspicion of committing a crime, but anything outside of that violates the 4th Amendment.

    • Although I think your response is the most logical in that there shouldn’t be any fear regarding privacy being violated if there isn’t anything that would warrant fear. But regardless, I think the feeling of being watched or the government having overbearing control over what we do shouldn’t be a feeling felt. Personally, I agree, if my private life were to be publicized, there’s no reason to be fearful, however, not everyone is a perfect saint like me.

  14. I feel that the government should only withhold information of an individual unless that could possibly seem alarming or shows signs of a threat. Not simple things like keeping information on how someone searched up how t be better at a sport or where to shop at. When looking deeply into an individual’s lives invading the individual’s privacy.

  15. Its understandable for the government to know who is in the country and what potential threats could harm the nation. But its unacceptable for the government to know our every move and treat us citizens like controlled bots. Our limited privacy is becoming a social norm. Because of the huge billion dollar apps and social media sites, all of your info you put into your name and account, will be on the internet able to be accessed by anybody and everybody. First your freedom of speech is already limited on social media and now with gps tracking on almost all the social medias, you are able to be tracked and watched by the government for any potential threats and hazards. With people taking pictures constantly, these pictures will forever be on the internet, once you put a name on the internet and it becomes viral, there is no more privacy for you. I believe the only way to true privacy is growing older from a kid with no social media to a adult living their life with no needs for putting in your hobbies and characteristics on social apps and websites.

    • I agree with your statement about us being tracked and controlled like robots. I am unsure about your opinion of never having social media in the first place. I think it has its perks. Nonetheless, most of your statement I can agree with.

      • i agree with your statement. the government has way to much control and does seem to control us like robots. I also agree with what your saying about social media, if we never had it a lot of problems that we have now would not be an issue.

    • I definitely agree with the points you made here. More and more our privacy as citizens is being overlooked because (like you mentioned) that so many apps freely take our information with our consent.

    • I agree with this 100 percent because at times it can feel as if the government is using us as robots or toys. But you do make a good point also on how we put all of our info out there on the internet

  16. Federal surveillance has not stopped atrocities in the past even when the atrocities were posted about on social media or reported to authorities. The federal government should not have access to all of the information about a person’s life unless they believe that that person is a potential threat. If a person is flagged for certain words or phrases that are concerning they should only be able to look at the situations surrounding the communication that was flagged. Additionally this will give the federal government fewer people to sort through and more time to focus on serious threats.

    • I feel the same way for the most part. The main concern that I have is that what the government views as a flag may be much different from what an average person may expect, and that it could be extended to contain many terms that are already in common internet lingo.

  17. I believe that the government should have little information on citizen’s private life. The only exception would be if that civilian is planning to do something that is a threat towards themselves or others/things. Personally, I believe the government has taken a huge, unnecessary step on trying to know about everyone. The whole speaker and camera conspiracies are a bit much. Just if a civilian is looking up certain things, hopefully it triggers a system for the government to search. Other than that I do not think the government needs to spy on people.

  18. I think the government having some information about its citizens is not necessarily a bad thing. There is something to be said about the safety of others and other countries. Personally, I feel like the government looking into the lives of citizens can only escalate to more rights violations and a more detached look at their citizens. But, I feel like if you aren’t doing anything illegal the government wouldn’t be able to dig up anything on you that would hurt you in the long run; however I understand the sentiment that it is morally wrong to snoop into the private lives of citizens.

    • Yeah I agree that most citizens see it as a moral issue rather than them being scared of being caught for something illegal. If the government is allowed to look into your private lives online they may be able to track down more. It seems like a moral issue, and I feel like people have a right to privacy.

  19. I think the government should not be allowed to spy on American citizens. I believe people should not have to give up their private life to the government, even if it is for security reason. The extra surveillance on American citizens could be violating the 4th Amendment, so the only way spying should be allowed would be through a justified reason.

    • I agree with you, but I also feel like surveillance is crucial for fighting crime and dealing with threats to society.

    • I agree with you 100%. I feel that the only justifiable reason to have someone monitored or spied on is a result of that person’s actions or there is some reasonable suspicion with that person.

  20. If the government becomes suspicious of a certain individual trying to commit terrorist attacks,I believe the government is able to search through the personal life of said individual.In the event the government has no evidence of terrorist activity it shouldn’t look into personal lives.

    • i agree with this, there is no need to invade someones life without an absolutely necessary reason in order to protect us.

  21. I agree, if there is not a reasonable suspicion or a threat the government has no business invading peoples privacy.

  22. The federal government should not be allowed to collect information on the private lives of American citizens unless it happens in such a way that does not violate the 4th Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. While I believe the federal government has no intention to illegally spy on Americans just for fun, it makes me incredibly uncomfortable that information about my private life or anyone’s private life could be readily available. I think the idea that only wrongdoers should be worried about the federal government is underestimating the resources that the federal government has.

    • I too think it is concerning that the government has the ability to collect information without the same paperwork that would be put into a warrant, and the excuse about not worrying if you have nothing to hide does not mean your privacy is just gossamer.

  23. Like others here, I agree that the government should have limited capability to invade on the privacies of its people. While the government keeps information about its people in various ways such as social security, having uncheckable power to look though cell and internet data is in excess. The primary consideration for this is its violation of the 4th Amendment. Though I understand it’s difficult to assert what and what is not probable cause for a search, having a broad ability to preside over essentially much of a person’s data seems to extending the definition of probable by quite a bit. Parts of the Patriot act also incentive the selling of private data by third-party companies which only increases the whole issue. I also disagree with the notion that people don’t have to be scared of searches if they have nothing to hide. Regardless, it is still a breach of privacy unless proper documentation and a warrant have been secured.

    • I agree that a government should be limited in its ability to spy on its people. There are obvious cases where this is justifiable, such as in the case of actual crimes or terrorism. But that allows the government to use vague suspicion of terrorism or crime to monitor innocent people. I think there should be clear rules as to what warrants government monitoring so that privacy can be protected.

  24. I don’t think the government should be able to look into or spy or citizens lives it violates peoples rights and privacy. If we are not in danger or if it’s not absolutely necessary I don’t think they should be looking into peoples private lives and it has to be a really good reason for them to look into.

    • I agree with cobs because unless its absolutely necessary or putting people in danger then they should have no business in these peoples personal business.

    • I totally agree with you, if there is no danger or necessity to what is going on in someone’s private life, then it should stay hidden. There is no need to make these things public and/or exposed the government.

  25. I do not believe that the government has the right to spy on people. Monitoring your country to an extent is important, but to invade someones personal life is not in their control. i do not feel there is ever a need to invade someones privacy. Upgrading the surveillance is just one more small step for our government to

    • I agree with you to an extent, but I feel like some aspects of people’s personal lives reveals important information to the government, such as their location, or their text messages.

  26. I think the government should have general information about someone’s private life, as long as it does not interfere with that person’s comfort. The government surveillance is necessary in order to stop terrorism, and it can also be used to incriminate someone. But once the government begins to access information about people which is not relevant to their research or their intentions, that is when people begin to complain and protest for their rights to privacy.

  27. I don’t believe that the government should have as much access to the private lives of Americans as it has right now. While I think the privacy of citizens is important, I do think that the safety of the nation is more important. Because of this, I don’t think that surveillance technology or things like it should be banned outright, but instead be regulated and restricted to certain approved times where there is evidence or imminent concern for using this technology.

    • I agree that the government probably has too much information on the regular person but I think if someone is suspicious, they should have access to look into that particular person but the rest of the population who doesn’t pose a threat should have their privacy invaded by the government.

    • I agree the government has too much access into the private lives of people and it should be better regulations and restrictions

    • I completely agree. I understand that citizens should have their own privacy but the government should have some insight of the everyday life through surveillance for our safety but they should not be looking into our lives until their is a sign of danger.

  28. The government should have access to most information about anyone who poses a threat to society. I think that they shouldn’t look through some aspects of someone’s personal life if they don’t pose a threat. If they need certain information about someone who is planning or considering hurting others, the government should be able to access nearly all their information if needed. For example, if someone is looking up how to build a bomb or how to make a rapid-fire gun and looking at ammo online, the government should be allowed to look through their search history and look into that individual a bit more.

    • I agree, the government should be able to access information of any person that may be a threat to society but they also should not be prying into the live of those how don’t pose any.

  29. In my view, I feel any sum of information, especially private information, is accessible whenever someone may want it whether for malicious intent or for safety. So considering this, any private information can be given up at any time especially since our every move online or in some cases in our offline lives is most often tracked consistently and without fail. Governments have the power to do this but in my opinion it still is not the correct thing to do unless necessary as some of my peers have mentioned previously.

    • I totally agree about the part in gaining that private information, a lot of people can take that from anywhere. It is completely unfair that people who intend to live a private life, can have that stripped away from them due to tracking or possible threats.

  30. I agree the government should not be interveing into are personal it’s a confidentiality thing i think. I also think it’s very important of privacy.

  31. I feel that the only justifiable reason to spy on a person is if that person had previous actions that would require them to be monitored. There is no reason to have every single person monitored just for the sake of having them monitored. It would cause distrust and an unhealthy power dynamic between the government and it’s citizens. The government should never be feared in a healthy society. The government should have little to no information on their citizens.

    • I agree that if an individual has previous actions, such as criminal activity or involvement with other criminals, the government would be justified in monitoring them. Outside of that though, the government should not be able to spy on the people for vague reasons, and it is likely one of the reasons why many people are distrustful of the government.

  32. I believe that the government should not be allowed to look into private citizens lives as it is a violation of privacy. But I do feel like the occasional background check information is the only thing the government should have access to.

  33. I believe that the federal government should not have a huge amount of information of citizens, unless it’s completely necessary. It’s consider this as a violation of privacy to every citizen that the government tracks/gathers information on. I understand if someone has a history that’s suspicious, then the government should collect info on them. But, other than that, I believe the government should only have limited information about our daily lives.

  34. I believe that the government should not have every citizens piece of information. Unless they come off as a threat or the government thinks something is up the invasion of privacy Is not necessary. Check ups of public records and stuff involving their jobs or careers isn’t the biggest check up. But there are some personal things that citizens should not be searched of if they don’t want that.

  35. I think that the federal government should not be able to collect information about every American citizen’s personal life unless there is suspicion that individuals are taking part in illegal activity. Collecting data on people who are doing nothing wrong is a violation of privacy.

  36. The federal government should not be allowed to invade a person’s privacy. They should only be investigating a person if they actually have cause to do so. The government may want look for any terrorist threats but they shouldn’t be invading people’s privacy. The government should only have the necessary information needed of a person and go no further, other than actually having a cause for it.

  37. The government should never look into the private lives of citizens, unless there is a present danger surrounding a person. The government simply does not need to know where you work and who you talk to on a daily basis. At that point, it would be a violation of privacy, which is not necessarily a right, but is enough to make someone feel uncomfortable with the body that is supposed to be protecting them. If someone is a terrorist threat or criminal, and innocent people’s lives are on the line, then in the act of protecting its people, the government has the right to know the information that is needed to convict that person for the common good.

  38. I do not believe that the government should look so closely into others lives, its an invasion of privacy and very selfish and disrespectful. It an invasion of privacy, in certain situation okay, but looking into citizens life for no reason is a big issue, that shouldn’t be an issue in the first place.

  39. I believe that the government should have little to no access to our personal information unless we ourselves give them that access. Everyone has a right to their own privacy and if the government were to over step that boundary that would be very disrespectful. I feel as if their is a need to invade someones privacy it should only be if they are doing something that is dangerous to or for others. If we were capable of doing the same to them they wouldn’t be so pleased about it.

  40. I believe that the current amount of surveillance on the American people is almost perfectly valid but could use some lessened intensity. There is already the issues of how social media conglomerates use our information to advertise and sell our data to information collectors and I believe the US government is one of them. They already know and receive all kinds of information regarding our personal lives so why increase the scope at which we are monitored? At this point it is isn’t only about possible terrorist or criminal threats it’s more or so that they don’t think or care about the common citizen’s privacy. It can feel illegal and unconstitutional when considering the ease of access and the sidestepping of 4th amendment rights that goes on behind the scenes. The federal government should leave their security measures at the status quo and let the sliver of privacy we still have be our own because they overestimate human nature.

  41. I believe the government has no right to search or monitor our private lives without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Similarly to police officials who are trying to grant a warrant or just pulling someone over. Having the government snoop into our lives without consent violates our rights. Many people already post their lives on social media platforms, but what isn’t said was probably meant to stay that way. I’m sure if any real suspicions were made by the government they would be able to get proper citation for going through our private lives. Of course many of the terrorists and criminal threat allegations lead to racial profiling done by officials. If they simply dug through someone’s private life just because of a racial issue that would also be violating our rights.

  42. I believe that the government should have only certain personal information about each individual in the United States. Personal information given to the government should only be prohibited if the individual allows the government to have this valuable information. The one basic piece of information that I believe the government should always have access too is each person’s social security number. This is to ensure that the government can still identify someone based off of their social security number.

  43. I believe that the government should not have insight to the personal lives of Americans. As humans we should have the right to have our own privacy without the government jumping in and knowing our personal information. Obviously there is certain information that government needs to know about our lives but when it comes to our privacy, the government should not be able to invade it. In my opinion, the only time that the government should be able to invade our privacy is once there is a sign that danger is coming into place. If no danger is inflicted on other people then the government should have no place in our personal life.

  44. The government should honestly have any collected information on US citizens. Our private lives should be restricted. The only legit reasoning behind having as much information on us as they do would be if the person was a threat or in just any way dangerous. The government already has a lot of our public information. What more could they possibly need especially since having it really serves no purpose.

  45. The federal government should only have the information about us that is public and the information we share with the world. The information about our private lives should not be recorded or investigated by the federal government. There are however edge cases, such as if you are committing crimes. If you are planning to commit a crime or have already, the government should be able to investigate. This should not give the government free rein to investigate anyone under the guise of suspicion. The government often uses “terrorism” as a reason for investigation, and this should not be allowed unless it is actually related to terrorist activity. There should be clear bounds created to outline when an individual’s privacy can be bypassed because of actual suspicion of a crime. Outside of those bounds, the government should not be able to spy on you.

  46. the federal government should be able to step up their surveillance on individuals but their should be strict guidelines as to who they can surveillance and for why they can do so. the most reasonable way to do so would be getting a warrant to proceed if there is a person or persons that are a potential threat. Other than someone being a potential threat their aren’t many other reasons that the government should be able to protrude on our personal lives, especially without permission.

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