Saturday, April 2, 2016

A Power Struggle

Hi I'm Katherine Baird. I'm a proud Texan and a proud American. My ancestors have fought in every major United States war since the American Revolution. I love this country yet I fear that the power of the US government is growing too strong and will threaten the individual freedoms we cherish.
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Current Issues

Recently the US government has been in a series of court proceedings with Apple, as the government demanded a "backdoor" into their iPhone technology (for my previous discussion of this). Just a few days ago the government was able to crack into the terrorist's phone without any help from the creator of the iPhone technology and has subsequently ended the legal battle with Apple. A quote from the New York Times states, "The decision to drop the case ends a legal standoff between the government and the world's most valuable public company."


Personally this legal battle concerned me. If the US is able to demand something of one of the most powerful companies and ensure that they get what they want, what does this mean for me as an individual without much say or power? What will happen if the US government decides to use their power to go after smaller businesses that can't afford the cost of legal proceedings and therefore have to cave immediately to whatever is demanded of them? This is no longer an issue of information security but now acts as a springboard showing how strong the US government is and how their power is growing in the 21st century.


This current issue demonstrates that the power of the national government is growing so strong that they can challenge anyone and demand their agenda to be accomplished. Due to technology and the progression of communication in the 21st century the power of the government continues to increase. Has the power of the US government grown so strong that it endangers our individual liberties and freedom?

President Barack Obama discusses the issues of privacy versus security surrounding the current Apple debate. He states, "there are some constraints that we impose in order to make sure that we are safe, secure, and living in a civilized society." Is it technologically possible to create a device with no backdoor and still fight crime and enforce national laws? Rachelle Elbert, a fellow classmate, comments on how dangerous it is to have our devices less secure.
President Obama comments on governmental power relating to security

Historical Context

September 17, 1787 is a monumental day in US history. This day marks the creation of the US Constitution. The Constitution was written due to confusion between the power and rights of states versus the national government. This document was key in setting up the structure of the national government and delegating power to the three branches of government to ensure that at all times the power of the government could be kept in check. Certain power was delegated to the national government while other powers belonged to states and individuals.


As the government has continued to evolve amendments have been made to the Constitution to further restrict the power of the national government. Are we still able to restrict the power of the government today? Or has the governmental power reached the point that it is its own living breathing organism where individuals can no longer control it?

There once was a time when several corporations emerged as monopolies. It was necessary to pass the Sherman Antitrust Act to break these monopolies apart, as they had become too powerful. What happens when the US government becomes too powerful? 

Conclusion

The power of the US government is growing too strong. Though the government should be strong enough to protect its citizens, it should not have enough power to put in jeopardy the liberties and freedom of its citizens. Simply put in the words of attorney Alex Abdo, " the government's "unprecedented power-grab" [is] a threat to everyone's security and privacy." We must do our part as responsible citizens to participate in our governmental process to ensure that we retain our freedoms.

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Adrian Foong discusses the power that you have as an individualread his thoughts here.
Think corporations are growing too powerful, check out Tommy William's thoughts here

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