Thought Paper on Privacy and Internet Policy

Thought Paper on Privacy and Internet Policy
The privacy right is one of the fundamental constitutional rights, which is granted to citizens by the US Constitution. Nevertheless, the emergence of information technologies, internet and modern telecommunication systems opens wider opportunities of the violation of the privacy right and intrusion in the private life of people. In actuality, it is not only private companies but also state agencies that use internet and information technologies along with modern telecommunication systems to survey people interfere in their private life and control them under different pretexts, such as the maintenance of the organizational security or even the maintenance of the national security. As a result, today, internet security becomes one of the crucial issues related to the protection of the privacy right and non-intrusion of third parties in the private life of individuals.

As the matter of fact, the right to privacy is granted to all US citizens by the US Constitution, namely the Fourth Amendment reads as follows:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (US Constitution)

In actuality, this means that any citizen of the US has the right to reasonable privacy and protection of this right is guaranteed by the state because it is the state agencies, law enforcement agencies that are responsible for the execution of laws and observation over their observation. However, today, it is public organizations mainly that still attempt to protect the privacy right of Americans, whereas the state as well as private business and individuals tend to violate the privacy right and interfere in the private life of individuals using internet and modern telecommunication system. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the Patriot Act of 2001, which granted law enforcement agencies with larger opportunities to survey and search, regardless of existing Constitutional norms related to privacy, namely the Fourth Amendment. In other words, the state does not only fail to protect the US citizens from the violation of their privacy right but also implements legislative acts which open larger opportunities for law enforcement agencies to violate the privacy right.

The violation of the privacy right and the ignorance of the Fourth Amendment lead naturally to the emergence of cyber crimes and unauthorized access to the private information of individuals en masse. Moreover, the current policies conducted by the state make the surveillance legal and the violation of the privacy right has its legal ground, for instance, because of the Patriot Act of 2001 and other legislative initiatives limiting the privacy right and allowing intrusion in the private life of individuals. In this respect, it is necessary to take into consideration both the arguments of the government and the position of proponents of the privacy right. On the one hand, the government justifies the introduction of the Patriot Act of 2001 and granting law enforcement agencies with larger rights and opportunities to search and survey by considerations of the national security. In other words, the intrusion in the private life of individuals is justified by the attempt of the government and law enforcement agencies to prevent terror attacks and secure the life, health and property of the US citizens. However, such protection of the US citizens and enhancing of the national security leads to considerable breaches in internet security and privacy rights of people. In this regard, opponents of the current government policies and proponents of the privacy right (Adams, 81) insist that the government maintains the internet policy leading to the intrusion in the private life of people. Instead, they (Adams, 82) insist on the necessity to enhance internet security and observe the privacy right through observation of the Fourth Amendment and abolition of all legal norms that limit the privacy right beyond the reasonable expectation of privacy.

Nevertheless, in spite of the growing opposition to the government policy and numerous violation of the privacy right from the part of state agencies, companies and individuals, the problem of intrusion in the private life aggravates. In this regard, the emergence of new technologies facilitates surveillance consistently. As a result, state agencies, companies and individuals can survey and interfere in the private life of individuals without their consent easily. For instance, government electronic surveillance deprives US citizens of the right to privacy because their online activities and e-mails may be searched and controlled by state agencies.

In addition the emergence of new surveillance technologies, which increase the risk of intrusion in the private life without consent of individuals and without them being informed or aware of such intrusion. In this respect, it is worth mentioning geo-positioning chips, which may be implemented to track the movement of individuals. At this point, I would refer to the experience of my company which uses GPS system to locate the position of its vehicles and, therefore, employees any time. Such measure is justified by the necessity to track shipping of goods but absolutely all vehicles, including those which are not involved in shipping services are equipped with GPS and, therefore, can be controlled and tracked by the company. Or else, camera surveillance is another tool to interfere in the private life of people. Our office has a number of cameras which allow the security system to conduct 24/7 surveillance over the entire office and territory of our company. Finally, new systems of security such as facial recognition software imply the provision of private information to security agencies.

Thus, today, privacy and internet policy are closely intertwined and the emergence of internet and information technologies increases the risk of violation of privacy rights. In addition, the government maintains policies violating privacy rights and increasing the risk of intrusion in the private life of individuals. Naturally, such a situation is unbearable for individuals because it violates their basic human rights.

Works Cited:

Adams, G. TUANZ Special Report: Business-to-Business E-Business – a New Zealand Status Report, Nov. 97.
Anderson, C. In Search of Perfect Market. The Economist, vol. 343, 2008.
Bloch, M., Peigneur Y., and Segev A. “Leveraging Electronic Commerce for Competitive Advantage: a Business Value Framework.” The Ninth International Conference on EDI-IOS, Bled, Slovenia, 1990.
The US Constitution. New York: St. Martin Press, 2008.
Walter, C. Web Commerce Means E-service. Informationweek, vol. 743, 1999.

Thought Paper on Privacy and Internet Policy 8.2 of 10 on the basis of 1628 Review.