, Muskogee, OK

June 12, 2013

Little expectation of privacy

— Big Brother may not be actively watching you, but it is best to remember he can.

Two newspapers — the Washington Post and the Guardian — have recently revealed the existence of two classified surveillance programs.

In one program, the government sweeps up the phone records of millions of Americans every day and stores them in a digital library. That program is authorized by the USA Patriot Act, passed shortly after 9/11.

The second, called PRISM, taps into major U.S. technology companies and monitors emails in the search for foreign terrorists. That program was authorized by 2007 and 2008 laws that allow the government to monitor —without specific warrants — emails believed to belong to foreigners.

In this technologically advanced age, there is little expectation of privacy.

Anything you put on the Internet is there forever.

In many workplaces, if you use company equipment such as email and Internet access, you have no expectation of privacy.

It is clear that most people using a cell phone in public don’t seem to mind if you can hear the conversation.

The U.S. government uses these two surveillance programs in an attempt to protect us from new terrorist attacks.

Many people believe that the loss of some privacy is a small price to pay for being safe.

Many others believe that government is overstepping its bounds.

Either way, it is probably best to remember that anything you do digitally can, and probably is, being stored.