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The Ethics Of Governmental Monitoring And Surveillance Philosophy Essay

For many years nation's government authorities have been monitoring their individuals through the use of surveillance technologies. Technologies such as sound recordings, video recordings, directories, and other technology are invading our level of privacy more and more with each passing year. As time passes, these technologies have become more and more advanced and rate at which they are evolving has been accelerating. So that as technologies advance, so do the talents of government authorities to screen their citizens. While technology is neither bad nor good, it can and is utilized for both. Sadly for us, a majority of technological advancements appear be used for additional damaging purposes than positive purposes. Because of this, there are many honest dilemmas that can derive from the utilization or misuse of technology. One particular ethical problem is should a authorities have the to use technology to screen its residents without their knowledge or consent? In this particular newspaper we will examine the ethics governmental monitoring from the perspective of a number of ethical models including the Kantian model, the public contract model, the act utilitarian model, the guideline utilitarian model and the subjective relativism model. And out of this assessment, we will bring conclusions about the ethics of governmental monitoring established upon the previously mentioned moral models.

For the last decade in america, the government considerably increased its capacity to screen its citizens credited to both changes in its laws and anticipated to improvements in surveillance solutions. Although this tendency of advanced monitoring in america by its administration have been increasing for a long time, in the aftermath of terrorist episodes on Sept 11, 2001, the United States has considerably increased its use of surveillance technologies and has customized it laws supplying its police agencies and other governmental firms nearly unchecked powers with regard to monitoring and monitoring. Following the terrorist episodes of September 11, legislation like the Patriot Act offered agencies of the federal government broad and loosely described powers to do things such a monitor telephone and cellphone calls with out a warrant. Governmental businesses also were also given unrestricted access to library records, medical information, financial documents and a variety of other resources of information and directories. Internet activity were also supervised by governmental companies at level never seen before in america. However, because we're able to do something it is not always the best decision to do so. For instance, is it sensible or even moral for the government to utilize this level of security on its citizens in its wide unrestricted searches for terrorists. With this newspaper, we will try to answer this question by evaluating the ethics of unrestricted governmental monitoring from the point of view of the above mentioned ethical ideas.

Let's first examine the ethics of governmental monitoring from a Kantian perspective. The Kantian theory claims that you should treat people as leads to themselves rather than as only methods to an end. In addition, it states a person may only break a guideline of morality to escape a difficult situation. In order to study if governmental monitoring is ethical from a Kantian point of view, we must study why our federal government is monitoring us. One reason the government is monitoring us is to discover those people in the general public that are involved in major crimes or terrorism activities. It has been argued by those that support governmental monitoring that to discover those people involved in major unlawful activities or terrorist activities that the federal government must actively keep an eye on most of its citizens by using surveillance. As the government casts such a wide net of monitoring, they are using all of us as a way to an end. And this wide-ranging level of surveillance is employed against all of the nation's citizens whether or not or not they devoted a criminal offenses or are involved in terrorist activities. For this reason, it is unethical for the government to conduct broad monitoring on its people in line with the Kantian theory because using this method they not treating the people of the united states as unique individuals, just like means to an end.

The Subjective Relativism theory that states that we now have no universal rules of morality and that we now have no universals truths of right and incorrect. Subjective Relativism includes the debate that even though answers to a moral dilemma can have contrary and opposing tips of view that both details of view can be correct. Because the theory states that there surely is no universal guidelines of right and wrong, then by the definition of subjective relativism, it could be ethical for a authorities to screen its people because there are those in the government and those outside of the government that assume that it is justified to utilize wide monitoring and security techniques in order to protect america and its individuals against future terrorist disorders. Even though there exists other people that believe that the surveillance is unethical rather than necessary for nationwide security, subjective relativism says that this does not matter because the monitoring is moral from the point of view of those believe is ethical. This is due to the aspect of the subjective relativism theory it allows conflicting units of ethical guidelines to exist at the same time. So therefore, the governmental monitoring is ethical from the point of view of these that believe it is ethical and unethical from the point of view of those that believe it is unethical.

The social agreement theory claims that rational people will agree to acknowledge those moral rules that will mutually benefit all in the culture on the problem that others will consent to follow those rules as well. In order to take a look at, if governmental monitoring is moral in line with the social agreement theory, we must define what we should as a society consider to be sensible expectations of level of privacy. One such acceptable assumption is that it's reasonable to suppose that when we speak on calling or a mobile phone that our conversations will be private between only us and the party in which we live speaking. Additionally it is reasonable for us to assume that people need not be anxious that someone will be listening to our conversations without our knowledge or consent whenever we are on our telephones or cell phones. Thus, our sociable contract states that we are entitled to take part in telecommunications without fear of being spied upon. That is an acceptable assumption to lead to a civilized free culture. However, because our federal government is using techniques such as warrant-less wiretaps against its citizens where there are secretive and loosely regulated monitoring of telecommunications, our administration has violated the cultural contract in regards to our privileges for a reasonable expectations of level of privacy. Therefore, from a communal contract point of view, the governments broad monitoring of its individuals through the use of surveillance systems is unethical and a violation of our own social agreement.

The Action Utilitarianism theory areas that the rightness or wrongness of a moral decision is based on the scope to that your moral decision boosts or decreases the full total happiness of most affected entities. In order to determine whether governmental monitoring of individuals is ethical from an act utilitarian perspective, we must look at both the positives and the negative repercussions that may result because of the monitoring. First allows examine the positives events that can occur as a result of governmental monitoring and surveillance. It is possible that as a result of governmental security, potential terrorists that wish to do injury against america and against its individuals of the United States will be uncovered and quit. Its is also possible that governmental security will lead to the arrest of folks involved with major crimes within america. These are a few examples of the positive things that appear consequently of the governmental monitoring. However, there are potential negatives repercussions that can and have occurred in the United States because of this of governmental monitoring.

Now lets take a look at many of these negative results of governmental monitoring and surveillance. It's possible and there were documented conditions where there have been wrong positive leads where innocent citizens have been wrongly accused of crimes and terrorist activities. In many of these cases, Americans have been detained at no cost for fairly prolonged amounts of time. In these cases the residents were all released, however, not before being subjected to interrogation and incarceration. In all cases that I know of, the citizens were all released eventually without charge. But the mental trauma of such an event is difficult to quantify and could be resilient with regards to the circumstances.

Another potential negative result of governmental monitoring is the fact if the people being monitored know they are being monitored they might be psychologically harmed if indeed they feel threatened as a result of the monitoring. Also, if the governmental market leaders tell their people that they are not being broadly supervised, then it is later revealed that the government was indeed doing the very things that they just refused doing, it may undermine the faith of the individuals in their federal government. Quite simply, this might lead the residents of any country to suppose that their federal is always laying to them irrespective and consequently they will not want to work with their authorities out of dread and mistrust.

In order to determine whether governmental monitoring and monitoring is ethical according to the Action Utilitarianism theory, we must calculate the quantity negative and positive consequences that may occur because of this of the governmental monitoring and monitoring and then determine if which value is larger. The larger of the two values determines set up surveillance is ethical or not matching Work Utilitarian theory.

The Guideline Utilitarian theory is comparable to the Action Utilitarian theory for the reason that it is concerned with the calculation of the full total amounts advantages and disadvantages. However, the Guideline Utilitarian is concerned with finding the rules that if used by every member of the modern culture, will lead to the best amount of joy. To evaluate if governmental monitoring of individuals is moral from a Rule Utilitarian perspective, we should choose a rule such as the rule that communications in the United States may be subjected to monitoring by america government. Then we must determine if this rule causes more positive or negative results. If this guideline were to avoid an enormous terrorist assault on the United States, then it could produce a great deal of positive results because it would save many lives and prevent the destruction of open public and private property. However, if there is not a terrorist episode or the guideline fails to prevent an invasion, then the rule causes a great deal of negative results as the privacy of the people of the United States have been violated for no gain in coverage. And identifying which of these cases will arise in the future is difficult to determine.

In this newspaper, we have evaluated the ethics of the government's electric surveillance and monitoring of its people. We have examined the ethics of the governmental security from the perspective of the Kantian theory, subjective relativism theory, cultural deal theory, the Work Utilitarian theory and the Guideline Utilitarian theory. In the Kantian perspective, we have found the governmental electric monitoring to be unethical. Because of the broad reaching nature of the governmental surveillance, most of the residents being watched are innocent and so are being used as a way to an end in order to catch a few terrorists and other major criminals which may or might not are present. And looking back again retrospectively over the last decade there have been few terrorists activities in the United States itself that have been prevented therefore of the internal monitoring and security of USA citizens. There were a few attempted terrorist acts, however these endeavors were few and far between and in most cases had little potential for success. Those involved in these cases, typically appeared to be misfits that in some cases looked as if they may have been entrapped for legal reasons enforcement in sting operations or enticed into seeking terrorists activities. This causes the question of if they were not positioned in these circumstances would they have got attempted to commit terrorists works in the first place. Nearly anyone if placed in the right group of circumstances may potentially be enticed into committing a criminal offenses. And the actual fact remains that no major functions of terrorism within america have been uncovered as a result of the government's inner monitoring of USA citizens by electronic digital surveillance.

From the point of view of subjective relativism, governmental monitoring was found to be both honest and unethical. The security is ethical from the perspective of these that assume that the utilization of the surveillance is justified to be able to prevent terrorist attacks or to stop major crimes. At exactly the same time, the governmental surveillance was found to be unethical from the perspective of these that believe that the surveillance is not justified and can be an invasion of privacy of innocent citizens. Quite simply, with subjective relativism set up surveillance is honest depends on your point of view which no viewpoint is right or wrong.

Governmental monitoring was found to be unethical from a communal contract viewpoint. Because within a society there are certain rules that are expected to be accompanied by everyone and in the case of governmental surveillance, the guidelines of anticipations of personal privacy have been violated by the federal government because of the use of techniques such as warrant-less wiretaps on their own citizens. For this reason, governmental surveillance was found to be unethical in line with the social contract theory.

From the Take action Utilitarian perspective, both the positive and negative implications of governmental electronic surveillance are motivated and likened. Positive things such as protecting against terrorist attaches and halting major unlawful activities possibly can result from the governmental monitoring. And negative things such as innocent American citizens being accused of being involved in terrorism may appear therefore of the monitoring. Then your amount of rightness or wrongness of the security can be determined by identifying if more positive or negative events occur in support of then can we see whether the government surveillance is honest from the Work Utilitarian point of view.

And finally, the Guideline Utilitarian perceptive examines if rules like the rule that all telecommunication within the United States are expected to be watched by the government in order to avoid future terrorist attacks will lead to increased happiness or misery for the individuals of america. In case the rule causes more happiness than misery then it should be used by all the people of the nation. However, to compute this for future occasions is difficult to state the least and it is usually easiest established only in retrospect.

In our study of the ethics of governmental electronic digital monitoring, most of the examined theories seem to find the monitoring to be unethical. And also therefore of the increased governmental monitoring few terrorist plots have been uncovered within america because the terrorist problems of Sept 11, 2001. And fewer yet, real terrorist efforts have been stopped since then. However, the degrees of governmental monitoring are increasing whichever political get together is in control the United State's legislative and executive branches.

During the finish of the Bush supervision, there were several hundred governmental legal representatives doing work for homeland security that would have to be reassigned to work to battle medicare and medicaid waste materials and fraudulence because there was literally nothing for them to do with regard to terrorism. This all begs the question of why are we continuing to use laws and regulations and monitoring that have produced little positive advantage? All that is achieved by these laws and regulations and monitoring is that our level of privacy has been invaded in ways that we will never know because the info is labeled. Also, there is the question of how is all of this information being stored and used and what safeguards are set up so that the information is not being used in ways that it was not intended. In an age where wiki-leaks and identity theft have become common place, they are serious conditions that could negatively impact our lives.

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