Invasion of Privacy

4 April 2015
Based on a survey, this paper shows that governmental invasion of privacy is a major concern among Americans.

This paper seeks to determine how Americans (as opposed to popular culture and the media) feel about governmental invasion of privacy, and to sort responses in terms of gender, political affiliation and age. Done through a survey of 1800 respondents in three age groups (18-34, 35-64, 65+), the answers are tabulated and compared. The results show that younger people are more concerned than older people, women more concerned than men, and Democrats more concerned than Republicans. In all, 75% of Americans are very concerned with the invasion of their privacy. This indicates a serious lack of communication and responsiveness between the government’s behavior and the people’s concerns.
“Before the September 11th terrorist attacks, those among the American people who were concerned about governmental invasion of privacy were relatively soft spoken, and tended towards extremist edges. Certainly, no one was fond of the degree to which the IRS kept an eye on their business, and especially among lower-class and minority factions, there was a deal of foment concerning unwarranted search-and-seizure on suspicion of drug charges and various other matters. However, in general, most Americans didn’t notice the degree to which their lives were supervised. After September 11th, the supervision took a much harder edge. The Patriot Act was passed allowing the government supposedly unprecedented powers to conduct searches, wiretaps, random background checks, and other security procedures against common civilians. (As a matter of historical accuracy, similar wartime measures have been undertaken on occasion in American history, though not within the memory of the current generation) Concern for the privacy of individuals became of much greater concern in the publications of fringe groups, such as ultra-liberal Mother Jones and ultra-conservative The World. However, the concern over individual privacy appears very seldom in mainstream non-fictional media (no one can seriously consider such shows as X-files to represent the general media consensus on government activity).”
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