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SECURITY VS PRIVACY

Updated on September 27, 2010

INTRODUCTION

Fellow Hubbers, and other readers I am going to address an issue that effects each and every one of us every minute of every day of every year of our lives. As the title of this Hub would suggest that issue is the one of security vs. privacy. There is an everyday struggle going on and our lives can be dramatically changed based on the outcome of this battle!!!!!!!!

This struggle has developed and expanded over the course of the history of our great nation. During times of global warfare security has ruled, but in time of peace the pendulum has swung back toward privacy. Sometime around 1966 there was a shift in the balance between these life-altering concepts in everyday application by our Federal Government, and also private interests. As all of you know, I am not a shrinking violet when it come to expressing opinions, and in this case I have a very strong opinion to express about the outcome of this battle of these two diametrically opposed concepts !!!!!!!!

PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS

One of my earliest memories concerning the issue at hand concerns my obtaining a Social Security card at the age of 17 during my senior year at Moundsville High School. I was preparing to attend West Virginia University in the fall of that year. I had always been assured that the number assigned by the Federal Government for that card was to be used by the IRS and SSA only for official business, and never by any other entity for any other purpose. Much to my chagrin, while registering for classes my freshman year at WVU, I was issued an ID card by WVU, which used that number for the purpose of my student identity. This was a loud and clear wake-up call to me!!!!!! My Federally issued Social Security number was being used by a state owned, and operated entity for the purpose of my identification, and not in the manner previously described!!!!!!!!!!

The constant sparring between security and privacy was clearly evident during the entire period of The Cold War. The advantage switched from one to the other during this era from 1948 through 1991. During the mid-1980’s to early 1990’s with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union and her Communist affiliates the pendulum was supposed to swing back to privacy over security since the foreign threat of nuclear annihilation had waned. However during this era many private commercial entities entered into this area of personal privacy. I have memories of refusing to apply for or accept customer cards from grocers, pharmacies, retail merchants, etc, etc. I always have felt my buying habits were nobody else’s business!!!!!!!!!! Of course the advent of the credit card, ATM, Internet purchases and other methods have negated the possibility to avoid and semblance of invasion of privacy by both private and public entities!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

THE PRESENT DAY

This morning as I was browsing the Internet I came across an article where it stated that President Barrack Obama had proposed legislation that negates any semblance of privacy to all of us. I quote from the article I saw on AOL, “Broad new regulations being proposed by the Obama administration would make it easier for law enforcement and National Security officials to eavesdrop on Internet and e-mail communications like social networking and Blackberries.” Further along in the article James X. Dempsey of the Center for Democracy and Technology told The New York Times, “The proposed changes have "huge implications" and challenge the "fundamental elements of the Internet revolution."

This is the latest tug of war between security and privacy with the Federal Government claiming we cannot have both. I realize we are in danger from radical Islamist, but we are also in danger of losing our freedom to an abusive and overreaching Federal Government. This is particularly true when that government has a despot on the top rung of the ladder.

Fellow Americans we must be diligent in surrendering our freedom and our privacy is an integral part of that freedom. We must nurture faith, hope, liberty, and the American way of life befoe we wake up some day and find to our horror that it is gone forever. Do as you think best, but as for me I want both security and privacy. There is no libery without both and in the words of Patrick Henry, ”Give me liberty or give me death.”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Harvey,

      This lack of person privacy is like walking around naked in a nightmare. The liberal government is an institutional nighmare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your cogent and insightful comment

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      Tom, Good as usual. Mr. Tranparency ..... Well I think that says it all.

      It's funny that liberal's always complained that Bush was trying to get into our lives. H

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      rightsquared,

      You are spot on in your assessment of the intrusiveness of this admistration. We must preserve liberty at all cost. Our children's future depends on our doing this!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your insightful comment.

    • profile image

      rightsquared 

      7 years ago

      Well done Tom! Big Brother has gotten way too big and way too intrusive. We can't show BO the door until 2012 but we can cut his power base off at the knees on Nov. 2. I can't wait.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Wayne,

      Your analysis is so correct concerning this slippery slope we are in danger of plummiting over!!!!! This is so much more true during this current administration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your cogent and inspiritational comment.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      For years, the military used the SSN as the military identification number and it was plaster on copies of military orders sent any and everywhere. Of course, that was back before the sinister elements started doing illegal things with them. These things start simple...the government gains greater access, started building an inoccent little file that becomes a dossier and before you know it, you are classified as an "enemy of the state". It could happen especially with this President in office. WB

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Hmrjmr1,

      I agree with your assessment. We must not surrender our liberty to any government or political party. Without our liberty there's no America!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your cogent and insightful comment.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 

      7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Tom - I echo the sentiments that I trust neither political party, past present or future with unfettered access to my communications. While I have known for a long time that there is no privacy on the internet, The tracking capabilities requested are being done so that the government can access your wireless phone traffic without judicial review, no checks and balances means no balances period.

      Great Hub..

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      sheila b.

      I agree it's like the old dream of being in public in one's skivies!!!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your cogent comment.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      7 years ago

      The government wants to see our bank statements, medical records, emails, social networking sites, so what privacy do we have left?

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Whidbeywriter,

      I agree with your statement. I too can't wait until November, and we can begin to save this great Nation of America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your comment.

    • Whidbeywriter profile image

      Mary Gaines 

      7 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

      November can not get here soon enough. This is very scarey to me, appreciate the information - as always cheers!

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      dahoglund,

      You certainly said a mouth full with your last sentence!!!!!!! That's why we need to stop them in their tracks with this legislation!!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your comment.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Pop,

      The Obama administration is not trustworthy with this enormous power as you said. We are in more danger of losing our liberty to our Federal Government than any terrorist!!!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your cogent and insightful comment.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Originally social security cards were not supposed to be used for ID.Yet som states like Iowa have used it as a drivers license number. Other states made it optional.The problem is that once the government gets involved in something it is very hard to get them out again.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      7 years ago

      I read about this nightmare as well. Although we do need protection from terrorists, given the current climate where the average American appears to be the enemy, this is way too much power in the government's hands.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Tim,

      I've seen it used for almost any type of ID number the mind can imagine. I don't know if the law was changed many years ago or not, but it isn't observed by anyone!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your insightful comment.

    • profile image

      TimBryce 

      7 years ago

      The social security number is often used as the Employee Number in corporate information systems. Sad, but true.

      Regards,

      Tim

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Pamela,

      Your perspective is identical to mine and we must persevere in the next two elections for the sake of future generations of Americans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your cogent and insightful comment.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Dusty,

      I have the same message on my Social Security card. I was outraged when I saw it used for identification at WVU and I don't like it any better now. I share your outrage and I don't like being a number. Numbering people is a sign of The Beast!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your inspirational comment.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Tom, This is an excellent article and the idea of losing more freedoms is appalling. This is extremely important and we are slowing losing privacy in other ways as well with regard to what we eat, health care, what we drive, etc. These next 2 elections couldn't be any more important.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Tom my original social security card in bold red letters "NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION" It is directly below the number. It was placed there due to Hitler numbering the Jewish people with tattooed numbers on their arms by which he/they kept track of the ones that were brutally killed, the US didn't want to hurt any feelings over the practice of numbering people. If you read I believe 2nd Samuel in the bible, you'll find that David paid a hefty price for numbering his people.

      Our government no longer cares about any of that, the social security number is our main Identity in this country, it is a crime and deadly sin, but they no longer care., Dusty

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Vladimir,

      Your comment stands on its own, and all I can add is Amen!!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your comment.

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 

      7 years ago from HubPages, FB

      Please do not take our freedom from us.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Jolly Rogero,

      Your remark is sadly correct, but we still can restore the nation to vitality this November with proper people being elected to office.

      Thank you for your comment.

    • Jolly Rogero profile image

      Jolly Rogero 

      7 years ago

      Very informative. We will vote in November but it's all going to someplace in a handbasket before we get them out of there!

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      SusanP,

      I believe your observation is correct. I know of times when my computer or telephone goes on the fritz with no discernable reason. I'ts like someone is spying!!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your cogent comment.

    • profile image

      SusanP 

      7 years ago

      They've been checking on us ILLEGALLY for many years. Now they want to do it legally? So they will have a case to take us to court if we say Obama's wife is an Amazon? LOL. Good hub, Tom! Good case!

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Sheri,

      Your comment is spot on point. Our constitution gives a way of making changes without violence which is both needless and counter productive. Our vote is our weapon!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your insightful comment.

    • SheriSapp profile image

      SheriSapp 

      7 years ago from West Virginia

      I saw/heard about this debacle myself. It should not be surprising to any of us. Look at the HUGE power grab that was HCR. Why would we be shocked that this power-hungry regime has set its sights on a new prize. I figure I will be the subject of a thick, juicy FBI file before all is said and done. However, though I make my anger and disgust for this regime an open fact, I am VERY careful to NEVER type a syllable that could be construed as threatening to the government. We should all be mindful of this as they show us DAILY how eager they are to mischaracterize ANY dissent as making the dissenters into Tim Mcveigh wannabes!

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