Edward Snowden: Don’t forget the Future

After watching the interview with Edward Snowden, I find his claims about the state of privacy in the United States today to be correct. The invasion of privacy that the American government is conducting on its citizens is completely absurd and an abuse of power. From the video, I have learned that this is a constant cycle of history that continues to repeat over and over again. With a lot of things that are done in America in the past and today, when an emergency occurs the solution that comes from it has a lasting impact. In terms of Snowden’s claims, he is correct when stating that an emergency never truly ends and the decisions that stem from it become normalized especially in regards to emergency powers and privacy. A prime example of this is the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was put in place so the government could conduct surveillance on behalf of the terrorism that occurred on 9/11/2001. This was supposed to be a temporary solution to identify and prosecute both domestic and international terrorism. Originally, the sixteen clauses were supposed to expire after four years but fourteen of them were made permanent. Without the interference of Edward Snowden, Americans would not have been aware of the NSA surveillance activities that are still happening today, twenty years after. With this being said, what is going to happen to all of the COVID legislation that was put into place? What will happen to the information that was collected during the pandemic whose purpose was to provide the people with their needs? Snowden allows us to come to the realization that the virus will pass but the decisions made with last way longer. The data that the government has collected will eventually be passed to someone else and eventually be abused. As a country, we need to concern ourselves with questioning the long-term effects of legislation, especially in terms of our personal information because a lot of things look good in the present but will have adverse effects in the future.

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