Opinion

Is Big Brother your Facebook friend?

Imagine a world where nothing is secret and everything you do on the Internet is monitored, kept under surveillance and stored as data. Remember that Skype chat you had last week? Or how about that Facebook conversation you had yesterday? Yes, it’s a chilling idea.

Federal law enforcement and national security officials want Congress to implement new “wiretap” regulations that would be able to intervene and reveal concealed messages. This order would apply to communication services such as e-mail channels like Blackberry, software that allows “peer to peer” messaging like Skype and social networks such as Facebook.

According to Monday’s report by The New York Times, the government’s reasoning is that “their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is ‘going dark’ as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.” The Obama administration has endorsed this and is planning to send in the bill to lawmakers next year.

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook refused to discuss this major privacy change.

“Only Facebook would comment, if only generally, saying in a statement: ‘We will examine any proposal when and if it materializes but we can’t comment on something we haven’t seen. Generally, it’s our policy to only comply with valid, legal requests for data,’” the Times reported.

Trying to make Internet traffic function similarly to the telephone, the government wants to guarantee access to our use of the Internet when the need arises. Although its intention to prevent another terrorist attack is favorable, this regulation  violates both our privacy and free speech. This is surely not the Internet we envisioned.

It seems that when the government grows, an individual’s privacy becomes less of a concern. How much is too much power for the government? Does the government have our best interest and can they be trusted with access to our e-mail, conversations and data?

We understand the government needs its tools to carry out its duties. But this does not mean that our privacy should be sacrificed to make law enforcement’s and national security agencies job easier.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.


September 29, 2010

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes will have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball this season, and four play ...

Jesus Luzardo had yet to throw a single pitch as a professional baseball player in 2016 when he unde ...

Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Robert Marve has been arrested in Hillsborough County on an out- ...

Mark Richt has led the Miami Hurricanes back into the national college football conversation during ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and his vaunted 2018 signing class, nicknamed #Storm18, should ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

Political polarization, distrust in fact-based knowledge and verbal targeting may be fueling the ons ...

The University of Miami had four student-athletes selected to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award ...

The University of Miami's Symone Mason closed out the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships with a ...

University of Miami head volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara announced the additions of K ...

Three-time CSCAA Honorable Mention All-American diver Wally Layland and two-time ITA All-American te ...

Miami head women's tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Thursday the signing of two more ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.