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Does it bother you that governments may be monitoring your email and phone calls?

21 Comments
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Yes, of course.

And we allowed this to happen. Some even applaud it.

Just think how many people died trying to escape authoritarian states and stasi-like organisations eavesdropping and collecting information on them.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Yes. It's all very Orwellian as in Big Brother is watching.

It's like one step away from the government putting a camera in your bathroom.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

P.S.

One other thing, once you give up certain rights, such as rights to privacy, good luck getting those rights back. One lawyer told me, "Rights are really easy to give up, but very difficult to get back."

So think carefully about what you're giving up.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

@katsu 78

You've raised a very good question. I raised the same argument you have here with the lawyer I quoted above. I told him, "Well, I have nothing to hide. I'm not planning on doing anything bad, so I don't mind." To which this lawyer said, "But that's the catch. Where does one right end and another violation begin? If the government has the right to snoop around into your personal affairs, what, where and how far can they snoop around?" I think what this lawyer meant was that anything goes when you give up such rights. We just don't understand the full ramifications of giving up such rights or know where this might lead, as in to other unrelated areas which are not in the name of national security.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Its bad enough Google and Apple stalks everyone's phones.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Such government snooping is usually done by nameless and faceless people who don't care about us and our families and is often done with sinister motives to advance interests other than that of the public at large. We should never give up our right to privacy no matter what so called good reasons they use to gain our approval. They usually lie and don't tell us their real objectives.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

if anyone's emails should be monitored, it's the politician's - they are the ones involved in corrupt backdoor dealings and bombings of other countries

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Duh, of course it does! Next, should we feel queasy that the government is spying on us while we're taking a shower?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I don't mind them monitoring the terrorist next door, though.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

". . . (then) no society would have rights any longer because all societies give governments some powers over the people."

True enough, but some societies grant more power to governments (or governments to themselves) over the people than others, wouldn't you agree?

The question is where to draw the line. How far is too far?

Imagine what somebody like Trump would do with such powers over the people.

Frightening, isn't it?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Then my answer is yes. For the reasons given above.

How far is too far? Look at Russia, for example. You'd have to be painfully careful about everything you express in your e-mails and/or phone calls living in Putin's Russia.

Can't happen in a healthy democracy like the USA? I wouldn't bet on it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I'm living in, want to live in to say the least, a country with full democracy. If I want censorship around me, I will live elsewhere.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In the Bruce Chatwin short novel, Utz, the title character in an Iron Curtain country tells of the state apparatus: 'They listen to everything, but they hear nothing'. Utz's attitude was that 'they' were mostly harmless.

This means that through boredom or simple Neanderthal stupidity nothing gets picked up by 'them'. And that is probably true.

However, 'they' don't listen any more - they let their electronic systems do that. Non-sentient, programmed never showing fear nor sensitivity towards your spontaneous remark, irony or snap of a drunken or semi-clad moment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

THEY ALREADY DO IT

°

Have you seen the work of Aruki Ikeda ? And according to me, it shows how far he can go and there is little he don't follow (this is not that hard to do).

They don't go by public methods so they don't understand anymore why they should still hide they survey all our communications (and outside your country). They are looking for the right to go after personal communications.

We have the problem in Europe. France will have to build a new web link to get ride of England massive survey and rape of our citizens privacy.

°

NCM

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Kind of ironic that the government gets to know more and more of our formerly private life. But meanwhile, we know less and less what our government does.

The people who live off our hard earned taxes get to keep more secrets than ever, while we have fewer secrets than ever from them. Doesn't take a genius to see how wrong this is.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

stormcrowToday  05:16 pm JST

The question is where to draw the line. How far is too far?

That's not the question being asked here. The question being asked is at the top of the page:

Does it bother you that governments may be monitoring your email and phone calls?

i.e. "Is our present situation over the line?"

Now maybe it is. People certainly can make arguments that it is. We could discuss specific policies and give specific reasons why they are dangerous. I would welcome that kind of debate and discussion. However, the moment we try to twist the argument to be one claiming all government surveillance of any kind is always bad because it must always lead to further surveillance when that is demonstrably not the case, we prohibit that kind of meaningful discussion and reduce the debate to childishly simplistic positions of being entirely pro- or entirely anti- government, which is neither useful nor interesting.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think there's really two different questions that should be asked.

Is it right? No, of course not. Everyone should have a right to privacy.

Do I care? Honestly, at this point, no not really. We all know that governments everywhere are doing it and there's pretty much nothing that can be done to stop it, except to live like a hermit off the grid. We can only hope that we get classified fat and unimportant by the NSA like Eric Cartman and they decide just ignore us.
-2 ( +1 / -3 )

stormcrowToday  10:25 am JST

Yes. It's all very Orwellian as in Big Brother is watching.

When was the last time you were discussing something innocent (i.e. not planning a violent attack or crime) by email or on the phone, and you self-censored out of fear that you would face consequences from the government because of what you said? I think for most of us in Japan or Anglophone countries, the answer is "never", which means "Orwellian" doesn't really apply here. Mass-surveillance may indeed be a kind of government overreach that we need to react against, but calling it "Orwellian" just to get people to feel like it's bad is actually more of the sort of thing Orwell warned against than the practice itself.

The reality is more complicated. If anything, thoughtful citizens should feel a tension between distrust of a government that says it needs to monitor email and phone calls and also anxiety of a government so backwards as to think that email and phone calls are the medium modern criminals would depend on to coordinate.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

stormcrowToday  01:39 pm JST

You've raised a very good question. I raised the same argument you have here with the lawyer I quoted above. I told him, "Well, I have nothing to hide. I'm not planning on doing anything bad, so I don't mind." 

That's not the same as my argument.

"But that's the catch. Where does one right end and another violation begin? If the government has the right to snoop around into your personal affairs, what, where and how far can they snoop around?"

And that's not a response to my argument.

I think what this lawyer meant was that anything goes when you give up such rights.

Then I wouldn't trust this lawyer's opinion on anything related to rights or logical arguments, because they obviously don't understand that slippery slopes are fallacious arguments. If giving governments any power over the public automatically led to blurred rights, no society would have rights any longer because all societies give governments some powers over the people.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@Concerned Citizen - Such government snooping is usually done by nameless and faceless people who don't care about us and our families and is often done with sinister motives to advance interests other than that of the public at large. 

Oh, good grief! How do you sleep at night with all these conspiracy theories running through your head? I can't understand why so many people are against this. The only ones who would object are those with something to hide. There is very little difference between this and security cameras. They are there to monitor the safety of the community. The average person is on security camera upwards of 40 times a day. And, how about dash cams. Should they be banned too? It's a sad fact that, in this day and age it is necessary to monitor all human interactions, but that is what society has come to. You should all get used to it and get over it.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I voted "No" out of sarcasm.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

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